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Lakeville School Task Force Ponders Background Checks for Parents

The district already requires background checks for parents who chaperone parties or overnight activities.

The Lakeville school district's newly formed security task force is about ready to move forward with a proposal that would require parents who wish to volunteer with their child's school to undergo a criminal background check.

According to a report in Sun Thisweek, Lakeville schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Snyder told the task force at its Jan. 14 meeting that she would soon be approaching the School Board with the formal recommendation at a board meeting.

The district already requires background checks for parents who chaperone parties or overnight activities. This would just re-enforce the background check policy.

The policy is just one of many security changes the 20-person task force has identified to change.

Some ideas—such as metal detectors at the main entrance of every school—didn't make the cut and were voted down by the group. Allowing staff members with conceal carry licenses to have guns in buildings was also voted down.

The task force is made of school staff, parents, police, and business members from the community. Many have security background.

Ideas that did make the cut, according to Sun Thisweek: more security cameras at the high schools and middle schools; panic buttons in classrooms; buzzers to let visitors into school buildings; and improving mental health screening, staff training and services. But some of those ideas cost money, something the school district is short on.

Other ideas included implementing school crisis teams, updating emergency plans and the improvement of training coordination with police and school staff.

As for the background checks, Sun Thisweek reports the process would be led by the district's Human Resources Department and appeals could be filed by volunteers are are denied consideration.

Just hours after the Newtown, CT school shooting in December that left 28 people dead, including 20 children, Snyder wrote an email to parents.

In it, Snyder discussed the formation of the task force to make school security recommendations for all schools that the School Board can consider.

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