Glendale schools take steps to improve security


In January, an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat at Richardson D. White Elementary School in Glendale. That caused the school to evacuate all 880 of its students. The campus was eventually cleared and no arrest was made.

That followed a man being arrested after allegedly simulating a weapon at passing cars outside of Glenoaks Elementary School in Glendale.

Substitute teacher Josi Kneisel, who has worked at both schools, says after school shootings nationwide -- including the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut in mid-December -- more must be done to protect students.

Glendale Unified School District officials have vowed to do just that. They say even though many of their schools are gated, they want to do a lot more to make the schools even safer.

"We are going to be putting in silent alarm buttons strategically throughout the schools," said Superintendent Richard Sheehan. "We have cameras in place, but we are reviewing our camera systems. Additionally, we're making sure that all of our elementary schools have a singular secured entrance."

School officials say without a bond measure passed by voters last April to beef up campus security, the extra measures could not be put in place.

"Especially for parents, it make us feel more safe and secure to leave the kids because they spend [the day] at school most of the time," said parent Milan Masina.

The school district is also working closely with police to increase response times in the event of a threat.

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