MIDDLETOWN >> Rose Tree Media School District Superintendent Jim Wigo devoted his report at Thursday night’s school board meeting to outlining the steps underway to insure the safety and security of its buildings.

The remarks came in response to numerous emails and phone calls from parents seeking information about the ways the district is protecting students in light of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“As I have said many times, the safety of your children is our number one concern,” said Wigo. “We will redouble our efforts and our vigilance.”

Each building has a plan outlining the response to a variety, if not all, emergency situations and Wigo noted the district will continue its monthly drills so students and staff become even more familiar with the proper protocols. The teaching and administrative staff was trained two years ago by Tim Boyce, the current Delaware County Director of Emergency Services.

Teachers, guidance counselors, coaches and other staff members have also been available to students, said school board President Jeff Koenig.

Wigo added he was reminded by law enforcement experts of the need to be vigilant and aware of what and who might be a threat. In a letter posted on the district website, www.rtmsd.org, he asked parents to help their children understand this concept and report “anything or anyone they consider to be dangerous or even out of the ordinary” to their mom, dad or a school official.

Wigo chaired a recent meeting between Delaware County school administrators and state Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-26, the latter seeking input on ways the state could assist in making all districts safer. Wigo will be sitting March 9 with Media, Upper Providence and Pennsylvania State Police to review procedures and protocols.

He also called on the school board to support an expansion of the contract awarded to M&M Architects to include a comprehensive review of every building in respect to perimeter and internal safety.

“Our schools were built in a very different time,” he said. “We simply must look at upgrading our security systems without turning our buildings into armed camps.”

Like their peers at Stoneman Douglas and throughout the nation, Penncrest High School students are planning to participate in the March 14 #NationalSchoolWalkout. Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling on students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in the 17-minute event honoring the 17 students and teachers killed. The rally, at 10 a.m. across every time zone, is being held “to protest Congress’ inaction and demand it pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship,” according to the description on www.womensmarch.com.

“It will not be mandatory and the details are still being worked out,” said school board student liaison Jordyn Kaplan. “It will be part of the large-scale, national walkout to remember the 17 lives lost.”

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