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Claremont Schools Set New Entrance Policies

Claremont — Safety trumps inconvenience every time.

That was the message from Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin at Wednesday night’s School Board meeting in the wake of the tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Ct., last week that left 20 children and six adults dead.

McGoodwin told the board that all doors at Stevens High School and the Sugar River Valley Technical Center are no longer being left unlocked.

Before, anyone could walk into either school but to gain entry now a person will have to knock or ring a bell and someone from the front office will come to the door to let them in.

That protocol will remain in place until security systems, with a buzzer and camera, are installed, probably over the holiday week.

“I don’t believe we are overreacting,” said McGoodwin, referring to some complaints he has heard. “Regardless of where we are, we are not immune to the behavior of a small few. We have to acknowledge we live in a different time.

“We will adjust to the inconvenience of locked doors. It may be inconvenient but it is safer.”

The cost for a front entry security system will be about $500, McGoodwin said.

The districts other four schools, Bluff, Disnard and Maple Avenue elementary and the middle school, already have secure entrances.

— Patrick O’Grady