Education

Dec 14, 2012 7:17 PM by Alex Labat

Safety in Lafayette Parish Elementary Schools

Principal Monique Vidos watches today's events in Connecticut unfold in her office at Woodvale Elementary.
She says she feels "blessed that we're here. And I feel that it's a very unfortunate situation in Connecticut. I hope that can handle the things that they need to handle at this time."

Before you walk through the school doors, you're welcomed by signs directing you to the front office, and warning you what happens if you enter school grounds with a weapon. You could spend up to five years in jail.

Sargent Mark Francis of the Lafayette Police Department details the process from entering school grounds, saying, "you actually have one point of entry, where you sign in with the administration to request your student or to visit a teacher for whatever reason that may be."

Signs like this though can't stop someone who's determined to shoot and kill, like what happened in Newtown, Connecticut.

Vidos says safety is always an important issue, even before the events in Connecticut.

"I just met with the superintendent this week and that was one of the things that was mentioned to me was that we would be provided with security cameras on our campus," says Vidos.

Sargent Mark Francis of the Lafayette Police Department is in charge of school resource officers. Officers are stationed at high schools and middle schools, but not elementary schools.

"Everything boils down to dollars and cents. It's very expensive to put a police officer on campus, and 99.9 percent of the time he'll probably not be needed at an elementary school.

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