New Fences are Just the Beginning for Louisiana Schools

NEW ORLEANS – With several ideas still on the table, school officials at St. Tammany Parish decided to take their first step toward bolstering school security: perimeter fencing.

The district began the safety and security initiative last year, shortly after President Bush hosted a national school safety conference in Washington. Parents suggested the idea of fencing during last year’s school meetings.

Deputy Superintendent Trey Folse believes the fencing will ward off intruders and stray animals by establishing a single entry point to the campus.

Officials have tentatively set aside $683,000 to fence all 52 schools, although that figure may change once bids start arriving. The district plans to begin fencing on the 21 elementary schools this fall and finish by the end of the school year. The middle schools and high schools will prove more of a challenge due to their size and the presence of athletic fields.

Other ideas still up for debate include placing security officers in every school and instituting a district-wide dress code so intruders will stand out on school grounds.

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