The Blairsville-Saltsburg School District last night decided against hiring an armed officer for school security. After having many lengthy discussions over the past few months with both the public and law enforcement officials, the school board decided to enhance security in a different manner. Ed Smith, the school board president said that there were a lot of complications involved, including jurisdiction. Hhe said that the district will instead bolster security with more faculty and teacher training, and the board will continue to look at any and all security options.
In other action, the district will move forward with a plan to dismiss students early on Fridays starting next school year, giving the second half of the day to the teachers for professional development. Last night, some parents spoke out against the change. Molly Stiles of Blairsville said she was against it because even though hours are increased, she felt that the Friday class time may not be enough for a full lesson.
Assistant Superintendent Ian Magness said that the teachers have a lot of things to do as far as professional development is concerned, but not a lot of time in which to do it. Magness also said that people still have a chance to give their input by logging on to the school board website or by calling the school district administration offices.
Some of those professional development courses that would be given range from working with children with special needs to security measures.