LISBON — School safety measures and their associated costs dominated Monday night’s School Committee meeting.

Committee and audience members discussed many safety options, from adding more administration while students enter the schools to a bulletproof shelter inside the classrooms.

Hiring an additional second school resource officer was another suggestion.

“Having only one school resource officer, at this point, to cover four schools, in my mind, is not enough,” Committee member Ross Cunningham said.

Superintendent Richard Green plans to talk with Police Chief Marc Hagan about another school resource officer, the costs associated with it and how it would affect the 2018-19 budget.

In the meantime, the school safety committee continues to meet every month and, according to the administrators, the schools continue to run smooth lockdown drills, which have been announced and unannounced.

“I’ve been on the safety committee for eight years,” Vice Chairwoman Kathi Yergin said. “About five years ago the town, Fire Department and Police Department said that instead of doing fire drills we should be practicing lockdowns because the chance of a fire is not going to happen as much as a shooting is going to happen.”

Along with the potential of adding another school resource officer, other variables for the upcoming budget include insurance, unanticipated revenue, school management and leadership.

Originally the new state law penalized districts that did not join regional leadership centers, and once a district joined a center, it was hard to leave it.

“The interpretation of the law has changed significantly since it was enacted,” Green said. “The DOE is very open to help groups or organizations who put in their first part of the application and there are ways to create interlocal agreements that won’t penalize you as severely as what originally was meant.”

Lisbon submitted an application, along with Regional School Unit 4, for a leadership center in December 2017.

If the center is accepted, a vote will be required from the School Committee and community members in June.

The school budget presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21.


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