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South Jefferson Central School District to lock doors at all buildings during school hours

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ADAMS — The South Jefferson Central School District’s push to make sure all buildings are locked during the school day will be complete when the initiative goes into effect Monday at the Maynard P. Wilson Building in Adams Center.

Superintendent Jamie A. Moesel said the effort was the result of months of evaluating security.

“One of the things we’ve tried to implement by locking these doors all the time ... is denying access, and it’s delaying any kind of outside influence that would make us feel uncomfortable,” Mrs. Moesel said.

She said that in case a gunman attempted to enter a school building, locked doors could provide more time for people inside to get to safety.

“We’ve been told those are extremely critical seconds,” Mrs. Moesel said. “We want to make sure we make as much of those seconds as we can.”

The initiative started in December, when the Mannsville Elementary building was locked in the immediate aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Mrs. Moesel said the move was made with help from state police and generated nearly unanimous positive feedback from both parents and staff.

Last month, the district started locking the doors at the Clarke Building for entrances used by middle and high school students, which Mrs. Moesel said served as another test of the new security measures.

“We wanted to make sure we’ve been doing it correctly,” she said.

Mrs. Moesel said a more ideal security option would be the placement of a school resource officer. The district had an officer on its grounds for about 10 years, until outside funding ran out in 2010.

“They acted not only as law enforcement, but as a connection to the community from the school,” Mrs. Moesel said.

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