Pearl River Schools Evaluate Security

Pearl River Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Morgano sent a letter out Friday detailing the district's ongoing re-examination of security in district buildings since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Pearl River Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Morgano sent a letter to residents Monday regarding the district's response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT

Morgano sent out an update on those efforts Friday afternoon. The text of the letter is below and attached to this report.

Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,

I thought I would give you a brief overview of what has been occurring relative to safety and security since my last message.

We have been busy this week addressing needs related to security and safety. On Wednesday, I attended a school safety forum with police captains and chiefs, secret service, sheriff, BOCES safety personnel, the DA and all Rockland County Superintendents. We discussed a number of topics related to working collaboratively to increase our security. There was an open discussion related to what each of us can offer the other, what works and what does not. This information will be helpful in our continued planning.

We have locked the front doors of each elementary school and the middle school. That practice will continue until further notice. At the high school, we have locked a number of doors that were previously open and we’ll continue to evaluate and make adjustments.

The Orangetown Police have been on site at each elementary school for their concerts at my request. We sincerely appreciate the assistance of OPD with our security needs.

An officer from OPD will attend our first Administrative Council meeting in January. We will use this time to once again review our procedures and ask for assistance with some of our drills.

In January, we will be conducting a number of safety drills at each school. We will inform you of some of these, however, in order to properly conduct the drills, some may be unannounced.

We are taking the need for security in a very serious manner. However, any changes made will be well thought out. Rushed decisions rarely produce a positive outcome. Our plan, as stated above, is a common sense approach.

We will continue our planning and review during the break. Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday. Let’s use the break to spend some time with our loved ones and remember how precious life is.


John C. Morgano, Ed.D


Sydney Smith December 22, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Security needs to start at the entrance of the school property not the front door.
YoungGrasshopper December 22, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Monitoring the designated roadway entrance is ineffective because there are so many other locations along the perimeter of the properties where an individual can enter unnoticed. Security at the entrance would only be worthwhile if the school district could provide fencing on the outskirts of the entire property which would be incredibly expensive and is therefore unrealistic. The current security guards, at the Pearl River High School, are incredibly inept and lazy. They barely speak English and could not deter a fly from entering or exiting the school grounds. Any hour of the school day you can easily come and go, all you need to do is give them a smile and wave. They sit in their vehicles the entire day speaking Creole to their relatives abroad and are incredibly passive. If we hired someone with experience, perhaps they'd be vigilant but then again, we aren't willing to pay them more than 9 dollars an hour. For now, keep the doors locked and train teachers to look for signs of instability in students and continue preaching the importance of not bullying. Perhaps in the future, we can invest in metal detectors for the high school and middle school. Any other age group, its on the parents to keep their gun safe locked. Stay class Sydney Smith : )


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