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Needham High upgrades security post-Virginia Tech

Posted by Ralph Ranalli May 7, 2007 09:31 AM

Needham High will get a security upgrade this summer
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


The ripple effects of the Virginia Tech shootings have reached Needham High School, with Principal Paul Richards announcing several new security measures including 11 exterior and 10 interior surveillance cameras that will be installed after this summer throughout the building. Richards outlined the initiatives in an e-mail to parents.

“It’s hard to know where to starting writing in light of the tragedy at Virginia Tech two weeks ago,” Richards wrote. “The incident highlights the fact that no school or institution can guarantee such an event from taking place.”

The safety measures at Needham High will be a balance between security and prevention, he said. For example, the cameras will not be monitored live but will be used only for emergency situations.

All exterior doors will be locked except for the main entrance where a new administrative office will be located. Greater supervision will be available before and after school when many students are in the building without teachers watching over them.

Richards told parents he believes the most effective way to prevent school violence is by building relationships between adults and students, particularly making sure students feel comfortable telling adults when classmates post frightening comments on Facebook, receive or hear of violent threats, or have general concerns about another student.

–- Lauren K. Meade

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