(NEWS 10) – Bethlehem Central School District hosting a forum where parents and guardians are invited to meet the school’s resource officers and have a chance to ask questions in regard to student safety and mental health as schools are in full swing. News 10 was at that meeting and has the latest on those developments.
“Thanks so much for coming out tonight to hear a little bit about our student safety measures we have in place,” said Superintendent Judy Monroe.
“It’s no secret that many schools have experienced tragedy and those are extremely extreme examples, but tonight’s topic is long overdue,” explained a representative for the high school’s PTO.
That topic, keeping kids safe. Every school in the Bethlehem district has been retrofitted with auto-locking doors so there is an immediate shut and lock in place. They have also integrated their camera badge system to be able to know exactly who is always in the buildings. They now have a one-touch 911 system that alerts safety teams immediately.
“And we also have 911 automatic alerts so when 911 is called from anywhere in the district the safety team for those either building or District teams are alerted immediately,” says Monroe.
Parents are also being presented with the idea of locking phone cases, known as a Yondr bag. To reduce student distractions in the classroom. That hot topic is only preliminary but what is definite is the school resource officers.
“We have detective Krage at the Middle School, I’m at the high school and we split the elementary school in terms of the responsibilities that we have to attend to every day, and we keep detailed stats. We average between 50 and 60 calls per month,” says School Resource Officer Detective Mike Berben with the Bethlehem Police department.
Berben tells the forum they go through rigorous training.
“Are training basically again starts when we get hired as a police officer is an extensive training again an orientation field training process but when you become an SRO that’s when it really kicks up a notch,” said Berben.
For now, the school feels prepared to handle the new school climate.