THUNDER BAY -- The city’s public school board hopes it can take advantage of provincial funding to further secure it’s elementary schools.
The announcement comes in the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty also announced a locked-door policy, which calls for having all doors locked while children are in classes.
“When parents send their kids off to school they are putting their trust in us, and we have to get it right,” McGuinty said in a news release issued media. “That’s why our government is committed to providing safe, welcoming places to learn for all our kids. It’s up to us to take all reasonable steps available to us to protect our kids. Locking school doors is a reasonable step.”
Applications for funding will go on through January with the plan to have everything installed by the fall.
Charles Bishop, education officers with Lakehead Public Schools, said they plan to take full advantage of the funding to improve their schools safety.
“I think what happened in Newtown was the motivation for McGuinty and the Minister of Education to make this announcement,” Bishop said. “I think it makes good sense in light of that. Anything that will give us an opportunity to make our schools safer is a good thing.”
Elementary schools with the public board are locked with the only exception being the front door. High schools on the other hand have security cameras and most have their doors open during the day.
Bishop said high schools are open while community groups are using the facility.
If Lakehead is selected to receive the funding, he said they will have to go through each school and prioritize which one needs a boost to their security.
“I think this is a great idea,” he said. “Any time we get an opportunity from the ministry to provide funding for us to make our schools safer and comes up with ways to do that, I think is great.”