(04/19/2007)
By Bob Weaver

Months before the Virginia Tech Massacre, Gov. Joe Manchin launched an initiative to increase the safety of public schools in West Virginia.

Concerns about protecting students and personnel resulted in legislation that will tighten access to individuals entering and leaving school buildings.

Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Ron Blankenship said a security plan for the county's three schools will be developed and presented to the state's School Building Authority for approval.

Blankenship said Calhoun will receive about $40,000 for the project.

"I will ask the local safe schools council to do a safety audit and help develop the plan, which will then be submitted for approval," he said.

Technically, what kind of system will be used to tighten how people will come and go from the buildings is yet to be determined.

"We will be getting a council together in the near future to develop the plan," Blankenship concluded.

The legislature allocated $10 million for state school security, requiring each county to make a 15% match.


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