Parents showed up to talk about school security in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School at the Newtown Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
"We have had a lot in place with security procedures, but no one anticipated this type of violence in an elementary school," said Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson. "So (we) definitely have to do more."
On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother as she slept in her bed. He then traveled the few miles to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he proceeded to shoot out a security window, make his way into the building and kill 20 children and six adults. He then shot and killed himself as police made their way into the school.
"We are talking about real little children," said Mike Porico of Newtown when asked about the school shooting. "It's a real tragedy."
Parents in the audience were listening closely on what will be spent for tighter security because of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"I'm disappointed, but I'm also concerned that this process is taking so long, to be frank," said parent Catherine Zaharek. "And it's not for lack of effort from anyone in the town."
The board of education put a security committee in place to focus on school safety. However, some parents say the process is taking too long.
"When tragedies occur, you need support and increased security. That should almost be immediate," one parent said during public comment.
The security committee is recommending items such as motion sensors and extra training for all staff in the event of an active shooter.
The members are also looking to hire eight security personnel. That cost is about $160,000, and the board will look to the town to budget school resource officers.
"We are asking for one guard at each of four of our elementary schools," Robinson said. "What were looking for is getting a school resource officer for each of the elementary schools."
Since the shooting, the outpouring of support from around the nation and world has been overwhelming. Gifts have been brought to a makeshift memorial in town that is being called a last memorial.
About two weeks ago, family members of the victims were able to take items they wanted.
The remaining memorial items will be available at an event called the Community Giveaway. The event will be at Reed Intermediate School in the Cafetorium and will be open to Sandy Hook Elementary School families from noon to 3 p.m. and Newtown families from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Newtown Board of Education is still working out some numbers and will present a budget to the board of selectman in the coming weeks. The budgets will all have to be voted on by the town in the spring.
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