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Buffalo School Board Members Propose New Gun Policies

11:43 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - A surprising gun policy within Buffalo Public Schools is being targeted and could soon be changed.

According to school district regulations, superintendents can approve anyone who says they need a gun on school grounds to have one.

Several school board members we spoke to say that the policy is decades old. And with the recent tragedies nationwide involving guns, board members say no superintendent and no administrator within Buffalo schools should be allowed to let anyone with a gun on school property.

The proposal was introduced by vice president of Executive Affairs, Ralph Hernandez, at a committee meeting Wednesday night.

 

Since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, many, if not all school districts have been looking at their safety policies to make sure students and staff are safe. 

"As we have seen the landscape around us change in so many ways, we need to ensure that we are current and up-to-date with the policies that we have in place," said Barbara Seals Nevergold, a member of Buffalo's school board.

Officials say this is why, the district is looking at making security upgrades, like possibly adding more cameras in schools and adjusting how many officers should be on patrol. Just added to the list is this new push, that would forbid the superintendent from allowing people on school grounds with a gun.  

"We really want to be proactive and things have changed, where that policy may've been appropriate, at another point and time, at this point and time, it may not be the most appropriate policy to have," said Nevergold.

Right now, it's illegal for anyone to come onto school grounds with a gun, except police.

However, the superintendent can make exceptions and grant certain people the authorization to bring a gun to school. Under the proposal only law enforcement would be allowed on school property and no exemptions could be made by the superintendent or any other top school official.

The proposal also calls for signs to be placed on all district buildings saying "No Firearms" are allowed. 

At a community meeting Thursday, we asked superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown for a response to the proposal. She declined to comment saying it's too early to talk about the plan. We're waiting for answers on how often these exemptions are made, if at all, and whether she's made any exceptions as superintendent.

Meantime, Brown will wait to see if the Board of Education will vote on the recommendations, which could come next Wednesday at a full board meeting.

The district is also looking into making sure buzzers and bells at school entrances are up to date.

These proposals and others make up a long list of possible changes, that the district is considering.

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