The current elementary school being built in Lewiston is not a “hardened, safe” school. The front entrance is glass (not bulletproof). Someone with an assault weapon could easily breach it and be in the school, probably killing many in the front office on the way into the building.

The other five or six entrances/exits have hollow metal doors with glass windows, easy to breach and get inside the building. And classroom doors are not located to allow for a “safe zone” or “red zone” inside the classroom, so that a shooter walking down the hall could not see into an entire classroom and shoot through the window in the door.

I have met with the building architect, who confirmed the information, although he mentioned that shades will be provided for each door window.

I brought my concerns to the Lewiston School Committee, Superintendent Bill Webster, the Maine Department of Education and some Lewiston legislators.

Webster is meeting with the MDOE, looking for funding to make needed changes to the new building and to harden the other schools in Lewiston.

All schools in Maine must be safe. The MDOE seems far behind in requiring safety standards for new school construction, Scott Brown of the MDOE says they are meeting and discussing building safety.

How many people have to die to get the point across that schools need to be safe places? Legislators, the MDOE and other officials should be aware of this very important safety issue.

Crystal Ward, Lewiston

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