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Hudson superintendent outlines safety procedures, upcoming plans for school security

By M.A.-Ferguson Rich/ Published: December 19, 2012
Hudson High School Principal Brian Wilch speaks to audience during past school board meeting. Hudson High School went into lockdown Wednesday after a umbrella was mistaken for a rifle. The Superintendent outlined new safety procedures as a result of the Sandy Hook shooting last week. (M.A. Ferguson-Rich/

HUDSON: Superintendent Steven Farnsworth spoke of the Connecticut shootings to the Board of Education on Monday.

"No community is exempt from such a horrific thing," said Farnsworth.

The superintendent outlined both current and planned safety procedures for the district.

Though Hudson schools have had security cameras in place for "a long time," Farnsworth said, within the next day or two, a direct feed will be established from school security cameras to the police department.

Law enforcement personnel will be able to monitor what is going on in Hudson schools at all times.

School administrators will have large monitors in place to allow them to view all camera feeds as well.

Cameras will be upgraded to provide greater clarity and visibility with allocations from the permanent improvement fund.  

At some point in the future, the entrances at Evamere and East Woods will be modified to provide clearer sight lines.

Hudson schools have locked doors and a buzzer system in place, Farnsworth said, and this will continue.  It will, however, now be "strictly enforced."

Each person wishing to enter a building will have to be "buzzed in" individually.  At times in the past, Farnsworth said, people would be cleared and then hold the door open for others to enter behind them. This will no longer be permitted.

Farnsworth said that there are two entrances kept unlocked at the high school, and those entering will be closely monitored.

The district is also researching the possibility of adding additional security personnel in all the buildings.

Other measures being taken are the labeling of all windows to be visible from the outside. This will allow law enforcement personnel to identify a specific location if a problem arises.

Teachers, after the holiday break, will be equipped with a bag and tool kit to assist in a lockdown situation.

All classroom doors are designed to be locked from within, and the district is working with law enforcement to enhance lock security.

The superintendent stressed that it was not just security measures needed, but rather a creation of a climate in the schools that made students feel comfortable talking to an adult.

There is an ongoing "If you see something, say something" initiative.

Farnsworth says that they have a “Safe School Helpline” in place, where students can report concerns and issues to an outside, confidential source, who will then notify the school.

This system can be done by a text, and the superintendent said they recently received their first one.

Farnsworth said there are other plans and procedures underway, but they will not be made public for security reasons.

Safety was at the top of mind Wednesday morning when the High School went into lockdown after an umbrella was mistaken for a rifle.

“After what happened Friday at Sandy Hook, it was understandable that everyone is on edge,” said Hudson High School principal Brian Wilch.