Panic Buttons In Schools? DE Lawmakers To Discuss Security Addit - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Panic Buttons In Schools? DE Lawmakers To Discuss Security Additions

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DOVER, Del. - Next fall, there will be a new Dover High School, but at the current one visitors and students check in through these doors, as security officers patrol inside and out.

But Capital School District superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas says they also have 21 other exits.

"The new high school will have a single point entrance for students," said Thomas.

That entrance, Thomas says,  will connect right to the main office.

It's not the only change.

"Security is not a single thing," said Thomas. "It's not a silver bullet. It's a lot of strategies that you put into a packet ."

One strategy: a panic button may end up being required by law at every Delaware school. A bill introduced in 2013 called for at least one silent alarm per school. Rep. Joseph Miro (R-Pike Creek Valley), who's sponsoring the bill says the panic button could ultimately be placed in the principal's office, immediately notifying authorities.

Miro says it could be linked to systems already in place.

WMDT also spoke with Rep. Tim Dukes (R-Laurel), a co-sponsor on the bill.

"We feel like there needs to be methods so that its addressed very quickly before anyone would have the time to pick up the phone and dial 911," said Dukes.

As for cost? Miro says the state is still discussing it.

Thomas says he hopes it's funded if the bill passes.

"We don't want unfunded mandates. You're going to have a certain cost in this," said Thomas. "The installation of the line is not particularly expensive, but there's this ongoing charge that never goes away."

The bill is scheduled to be heard in a House committee. Thursday, but Miro says he isn't sure it will be brought up and he may hold off for a few weeks to put this year's newer information into writing.

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