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Fauquier educators wrestle with best way to protect students, staff

Friday, Jan. 18 | By Alisa Booze Troetschel
School Resource Officer Master Deputy Sheriff Mundy Crummett checks in while doing her rounds at Taylor Middle School in Warrenton. Times-Democrat file photo.
Fauquier educators wrestle with best way to protect students, staff

Sub: Divided over arming school resource officers

By Alisa Booze Troetschel
Times-Democrat Staff Writer

In the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Fauquier school official and the Sheriff's Office are working to improve safety at county schools.

Fauquier County School Board Chairman Donna Grove said a buzzer and intercom system will be installed at all 20 county schools by the end of February.

With the new system, visitors press a button at the school's front door which signals school staff. The staff person can then unlock the door to permit entry.

"We realize it's not ideal," said Grove. "The school in Sandy Hook had an intercom system."

Next, provided that funding becomes available, Grove said the school division plans to install digital cameras in schools and integrate the intercom with the telephone system, making it easier and faster to call for help.

"Even though we're not where we need to be," said Grove, "we're headed there."

There are armed school resource officers (SROs), sheriff's deputies, assigned to all three high schools, according to Lt. James Hartman of the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office. SROs also rotate among the five middle schools. There are no SROs at elementary schools.

Pick up a copy of today's Times-Democrat for the full story.
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