Dare I even breath the word?
Dare I remind you of that stunningly sad Friday morning when our run of the mill routine was suddenly and forever broken. By a madman ... with a gun. Unleashing barrage after barrage of .223 caliber bullets on our most innocent, priceless possession: Children.
And the teachers and staff parents entrusted them with, who died defending their helpless young students in a heroic attempt to uphold that trust.
Newtown. Sandy Hook Elementary School. A tragedy of epic proportions now forever known by either moniker. What 9/11 did for airline security, Newton has done for school security.
Take Amherst's three elementary schools for instance. This morning the schools director of facilities and maintenance Ron Bohonowicz paid a visit to the Joint Capital Planning Committee to defend capital item requests for the upcoming fiscal year.
Ron Bohonowicz, Director of Facilities and Maintenance, right
One such item is $150,000 for new "columbine" locks on all doors in the town's three elementary schools (average cost $300/lock) ) as well as panic bars for the inside of doors. Currently the Middle School and High School have such locks.
In addition to physical upgrades the schools have also instituted new security procedures for parent pick up, lock the main doors and use security cameras to screen visitors, plus have periodic security inspections with APD and AFD.
$150,000 for locks and panic bars is, indeed, expensive. But so are the cost of funerals.