School safety: 'Precautions' to continue

Wednesday January 30, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Extra school security will be in place for the rest of the week as officials continue to manage the fallout from a possible security threat.

Ron Stahley, Windham Southeast Supervisory Union superintendent, said precautions including police patrols and locked exterior doors still are considered necessary after additional deliberations on Tuesday.

"After consulting again with local and state police, we're going to continue our safety precautions at each school site," Stahley said.

Officials have not revealed the exact nature of their security concerns, though they have said there was no specific threat against any school.

A statement on Monday from the Brattleboro town manager said "officials were notified that a person who had previously made nonspecific threats regarding school-age people might be returning to the area."

Parents were notified of extra school security through automated phone messages late Sunday night. That resulted in a high rate of absenteeism, with only about 60 percent of Brattleboro Union High School students showing up on Monday.

Stahley said the number of absentees decreased sharply on Tuesday, with only about 5 to 15 percent of students missing school in the area. He again visited the supervisory union's schools on Tuesday and said students and staff were handling the situation well.

"We feel good about what's going on in the schools," Stahley said. "And we continue to operate as usual."

For the remainder of the week, however, those buildings will have secured entrances and an additional, periodic police presence, Stahley said.

He said some school functions will be going back to normal.

"Students will be resuming outside recess and after-school activities, and that's going to happen with increased supervision," Stahley said.

He added that administrators will continue to have discussions about long-term security changes, including the possibility of locked doors at smaller schools.

Even before the supervisory union's precautionary measures were implemented this week, Brattleboro's high school and middle school buildings already had secured entrances during the school day.

Mike Faher can be reached at or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.


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