AUBURN — With high school students preparing to walk out of class in response to the Feb. 14 shootings in Florida, school administrators have been busy preparing.

Auburn school officials plan to address the matter of school safety at their regular committee meeting next week. Meanwhile, Auburn School Superintendent Katy Grondin said Wednesday night she and other administrators have already taken steps to address the matter of safety, including complete reviews of the school system’s lockdown procedures.

Grondin has been meeting with Scott Parker, a school safety consultant, to discuss options and potential problems.

She has a meeting scheduled with Auburn police Chief Phil Crowell and Lt. Tim Cougle to talk over the matter.

And, Grondin says, she has been meeting with the students themselves to hear their concerns and ideas.

“We had a very good conversation about the role of administration,” Grondin said, “(and) the role of the students.”

The superintendent met not only with students from Edward Little High School but from the middle school, where some kids have expressed interest in participating in the March 14 walkout.

“They were very mature about their decision,” Grondin said.

Students around the country are planning walkouts to honor students and teachers who died in the shooting. The “Enough” walkouts will be held for 17 minutes – from 10 to 10:17 a.m., each minute honoring one of the 17 Florida victims.

The Wednesday night committee meeting was followed by a budget workshop in which Grondin passed along good news: With only a 2.6 percent increase to local taxpayers for education, Auburn schools were able to meet essential program and service expectations, improve the bus fleet and meet contractual obligations for salary and benefits, among other goals.

The committee plans to have a broader discussion about school safety at its next meeting — Wednesday, March 7.


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