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Holmdel Schools Step Up Security After Newtown, Ct. School Shooting

Police will be more noticeable at the schools this week, and staff will be available to counsel kids on an individual basis.

The Holmdel Police Department "will be a presence" at all four schools this week, Holmdel Schools Superintendent Barbara Duncan said in a statement to parents of the 3,000 enrolled students today. 

"In addition, all school entrances are locked and there are security cameras in place in each building," she said. "Visitors are screened electronically at the Main Entrance of each school by district personnel before gaining entry."

The schools are enforcing security following the tragic shooting of 20 children and six teachers at Newtown, Ct. on Friday, when a gunman is believed to have gained entry to the school by shooting through the glass doors. 

Duncan said, "All the administrators are committed to ensuring the safety of our students and staff by implementing, and consistently reviewing and updating, our school security plans." 

Village School Principal Brian Schillaci emailed parents on Saturday to express his concern for the 833 children in the preK-3rd grade school. "We understand families will be dealing with how to handle these events on a very personal level. With our students at Village being so young, we will be leaving the decision on how to handle discussion with the children up to you as the parents," he wrote.

But he assured them that school counselors and staff were on standby to help any child experiencing apprehension on an individual basis. 

"I know you join us in keeping the families impacted by these horrible events in your thoughts at this difficult time," the principal said.

"If you have not done so already at least 100 times, please be sure to give your friends, family, and children a hug," Schillaci said. 

Fact Check December 17, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I applaud the parent group who - a couple years ago - forced the schools to implement enhanced safety
Michael December 17, 2012 at 09:42 PM
As a student of HHS I felt more comfort knowing that officers were at the school all day. The only thing I worry about is that this increased security will only last a few months and then life will go back to normal and our school will be vulnerable again. As much as I love HHS there really are no "electronic screenings" going on and security isn't as tight as it should be.
Michael Nikolis December 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM
This morning I sent my young sons to school with renewed significance. All the prayers, tears, hugs, legislation and security measures will not protect our children from all that is evil in this world, but a good education will teach them how to identify it and prepare for it. I know in my heart that our teachers love working with children and care about their well being. I applaud their efforts and recognize that they are our children's first line of defense against all that is evil in this world. Our police force is second to none and work tirelessly to keep this town safe. And, of course, our fire and first aid are the best anywhere.. ;) But, I still gave them an extra hug and kiss this morning.
wayne December 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM
WE MUST HAVE SCHOOL GUARDS IN OUR SCHOOLS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE HOLMDEL POLICE DEPT.
Mischa December 18, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Michael - I agree. My children went through HHS and it was a different world then. We could all go into the school without worry (or so we thought). That age of innocence is gone so we must remain vigilant and ensure that our children are kept safe. God Bless those teachers and the little angels they tried to save.

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