Buckling Down On Security


In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, FL, last week, both the Levittown and Island Trees school districts reflected on the importance of cultivating a safe learning environment for its students.

“Naturally, all of our staff and members of our school community are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in the Florida high school shooting,” Island Trees School District Superintendent Charles Murphy told the Levittown Tribune in a statement. “We can only hope that someone can help find a solution to end this senseless violence.”

In a letter to the district, Murphy went into further detail regarding measures being taken to minimize the risk of violence in the schools. The measures, which are currently awaiting approval from the State Education Department, include new security vestibules for each school lobby; a new entry and identification system; a total replacement of all interior doors, equipped with a new panic button locking system; security window film for interior/exterior doors and first-floor windows; and new surveillance cameras.

Moreover, Murphy emphasized that, “Although our schools continue to receive complaints about our locked doors…we will not compromise safety for a minor inconvenience.” He concluded the letter by noting that the work is expected to begin this summer.

Levittown Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald also made a statement to the Levitown Tribune, describing the violent acts committed in Parkland as “a senseless tragedy” and adding, “Our hearts go out to the families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.” McDonald further assured that students and staff in search of support following the events could depend on the district’s social workers and school psychologists, and that security is something that the district reviews often.

“The district considers the safety of its students and staff to be of the utmost importance,” McDonald said. “To ensure safety, districtwide and building-level emergency response plans are reviewed several times during the year and updated as needed. Following the tragedy in Parkland, FL, our district administration and security teams reviewed those security protocols and are in the process of reviewing them with our building staff.”

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Joseph Catrone is the former editor of Farmingdale Observer, Hicksville News, Levittown Tribune and Massapequa Observer. He is also a contributing writer to Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.


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