Commack Schools Upgrade Security Systems, Review Procedures

Superintendent Donald James confirms security upgrades, offers advice for coping with Newton school shootings.


Commack school officials announced recent upgrades were made to the district's security systems after news broke of the Newtown school shooting on Dec. 14. 

Commack Superintendent Donald James wrote a letter addressing district parents and local residents about coping with tragedy of the Newtown school shootings, which was posted Sunday on the district's website. It was only sent out to parents who signed up to receive email notifications.

"Regarding security, be assured that our electronic security system was recently upgraded to include digital security cameras that constantly monitor our school buildings and grounds as well as electronic door entry systems. You should know that our security cameras are accessible to law enforcement via our security web portal should an emergency situation arise," James wrote.

Commack Board of Education approved spending $36,421.50 for security upgrades at the primary, intermediate and high schools  and $250 for security upgrades at the middle school paid for by an EXCEL grant at its Dec. 13 board meeting. 

Commack School officials did not provide further details on these recent security system upgrades. 

"We are not seeking publicity, only trying to help parents in dealing with this tragedy," wrote Brenda Lentsch, spokeswoman for the school district. 

In his letter, the superintendent said Commack School district locks all entry doorways at each of its buildings, except for those kept manned by a security guard. There are also additional security guards who patrol and monitor the facilities at all times. 

James recommends that parents shield their children from the media coverage of the Newtown school shootings. 

"Although it may be difficult, please try to shield your children from the barrage of media coverage around this event as exposure will increase their anxiety and threaten their feelings of security. Please spend some time with your children in an effort to help them understand and process any information they may have heard, and encourage them to seek assistance from an adult if they are frightened or upset," the superintendent writes. 

Commack schools will review its security procedures and protocals will staff, and implement new procedures if necessary to keep buildings secure. 

The district's website links advice from the National Association of School Psychologists for teachers, adults and parents in how to help children cope in times of crisis.  

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Irondog December 18, 2012 at 05:29 PM
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/12/18/kelly-calls-for-national-gun-laws-in-wake-of-newtown-massacre/ Straight from NYC’s top cop Ray Kelly on CBS 2.. The top cop also described a comprehensive plan for New York City school safety which includes 5,000 safety agents – at least one in each school – trained to focus on students and teachers in the event of an active shooter. “They don’t have weapons and we don’t expect them to take on someone who has a weapon,” he said. He said that’s why 350 armed cops are in the schools and magnetometers are circulated through the system. What's our plan????
pbug56 December 18, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Are we going to armor plate the doors and windows?
Irondog December 19, 2012 at 02:26 AM
IDK... Are they in NYC???
Irondog December 19, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Commission approves adding deputies at 60 Orange County schools http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Commission-approves-adding-deputies-at-60-Orange-County-schools/-/1637132/17806356/-/hm7lcl/-/index.html
fredrodriguez December 26, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I do not agree that the only way to take down a bad armed gunman is to have a good armed gunman. That is like saying we should fight fire with an even bigger fire, which will only result in a much worst situation. I still personally believe that prevention is better than cure. If there is a law that bans residents from owning a gun, then it can prevent such shootings from occurring ever again. Some might say they own a gun as a form of safeguarding themselves but if such a law has been imposed, then there should be nothing to safeguard themselves against. For now, I do think the windows and doors barrier are great precautionary measures.


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