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School Board moves forward with security steps

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

 

The Lincoln County Board of Education is one step closer to approving safety enhancements at Lincoln County Schools.

Following a unanimous vote during the School Board’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, Executive Director of Facilities Darrell Gettys will proceed with gathering bids for proposed security modifications.

These enhancements include limiting access to schools by adding swipe entries at all major doors, considering a vestibule-type system where it’s workable as a first priority for entry, and changing exterior entry areas’ glass to wire- and fire-safety glass.

Gettys told board members that he had met with three different vendors, two of whom had surveyed all LCS schools. The services of both engineers and architects are being used to make sure the proposed options would work and to get accurate cost estimates.

Once this information is collected, and they are able to do a “comparison of apples to apples,” Gettys said he would make a recommendation as to how to move forward during a March 5 Building and Site Committee meeting.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved requesting additional funds, in the amount of $244,293, from the Board of Commissioners to cover the cost of mandated expenses for the 2012-2013 school year. This is not related to the security enhancements, which board members have discussed financing through excess bond revenues.

Instead, a large portion of the adjusted increases stems from unemployment insurance costs passed on to the local school system following a new state mandate.

In other School Board action:

  • Board members approved a 2013-2014 school calendar, to stand open for 25 days for input.
  • Board members approved a request for proposals to fill the position of board attorney, with bids to be returned by March 29, interviews conducted in April, a decision made in May and the new attorney to begin by July 1.
  • Board members approved two change orders for repairs to the West Lincoln High School track project.
  • A closed session was conducted, but no action was taken.
  • Board members heard from several speakers who are opposed to allowing organizations into county schools to distribute “safe space” kits intended to support lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students against bullying. The speakers were prompted by a TV news broadcast about the organizations going into Charlotte-area schools. While the speakers said they were not against the anti-bullying message, they cited their religious beliefs in their opposition of promoting homosexuality, which they described as “morally corrupt” and “against nature.” It is unclear whether literature of this sort has been distributed in Lincoln schools, but the speakers encouraged the board to look into the matter.

 

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