Saucon Students’ Safety is of ‘Utmost Importance…Every Day,’ Supt. Says

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Credit: Josh Popichak

Saucon Valley Middle School (FILE PHOTO)

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The superintendent of Saucon Valley School District is responding to concerns raised by parents about student safety in the wake of another tragic school shooting in Florida that has left 17 people dead.

In a letter to parents Friday, Dr. Craig Butler said the district extends its sympathies to those victims.

He said his office has received “many inquiries” about the district’s safety and security procedures and protocols over the last two days, since the shooting in Parkland, Fla., by suspect Nikolas Cruz.

On Friday, the FBI released a statement in which it admitted to mishandling information it received about Cruz in the form of a tip, which it said was not forwarded to the agency’s Miami Field Office and investigated as it should have been.

“Please know the safety of each child/student is of the utmost importance each and every day. … Tragic events like this serve as pivotal times for us to examine and review safety protocols,” he said. “To that end, please know we routinely rehearse fire drills, crisis drills, and other evacuations.”

Without going into detail, Butler said the district has evacuation sites ready for use if ever needed.

On Wednesday, Southern Lehigh High School students were evacuated to an off-campus location after their school was the subject of a bomb threat.

Butler also said all school exterior doors are kept locked while school is in session, and visitors must be approved and buzzed in before they can enter.

Security cameras are in use in all school buildings, he added.

The Lower Saucon Township Police Department is responsible for protecting staff and students, and the district is looking forward to increased communication and cooperation to help promote student safety as it works with the township’s newly-appointed chief, Thomas Barndt.

Perhaps most importantly, Butler stressed that teachers and administrators are a visible presence in hallways, where they are “vigilant and aware of individuals traveling through the school buildings.”

ID badges must be worn by employees in the schools, and students are encouraged to come forward and report any security-related concerns.

What do you think of Saucon Valley School District’s safety and security protocols? Is there anything you would improve? Tell us in a comment.

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