SCHOOL SAFETY: Loebsack Starts Conversation

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In light of the Newtown shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary an Iowa Congressman wants to take action.

Congressman Dave Loebsack is making the rounds to Iowa schools. He wants to know what safety measures they have in place and what can be done to better protect students.

“The nation has been galvanized with this when it comes to the issue of school violence,” says Congressman Loebsack.

Congressman Loebsack is making it a priority to find solutions to school violence.

Many Iowa schools began to take security precautions way before Sandy Hook and that`s a good thing, and many of them now are having more conversations now in how they can continue that and make it even more effective,” says Congressman Loebsack.

Congressman Loebsack traveled to Newton to talk to school officials, local law enforcement, and community leaders about what improvements can be made to make the district safer for students.

School Resource Officer Randy Camp says they are already taking big steps.

“Right now the schools all have automatic locks, and we didn`t have that last year, and it`s made the security at the schools a lot more because no one can just walk in now,” says Officer Camp with the Newton Police Department.

However, in light of the recent tragedy there are also plans to add more cameras and better lighting outside the school buildings.

“We’d like to think that we`re really aware early on before that tragedy, but it has forced us to do a comprehensive review of all of our policies and procedures and just how we look at certain situations,” says Newton School Superintendent Steve McDermott.

The round-table discussion also called on the community to be more involved in students’ lives and find solutions for other problems such as bullying.

However, Congressman Loebsack says it all comes down to having the right services available to  students in need.

“It`s about access to mental health, it`s about doing everything we can to provide the resources so when a child has particular issues or problems and those are identified and that he or she is identified that, that child has access to the services,” says Congressman Loebsack.

Newton School District already has plans to add cameras this summer.  Congressman Loebsack has plans to tour other schools in his district and hold similar conversations.

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