Local/State

Parents want safety upgrades at Cary school

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Parents at a Cary elementary school are taking matters into their own hands in order to upgrade security at the school.

The PTA at Turner Creek Road Elementary is discussing ways to use an annual fundraiser to keep their children safe on campus.

Parents say they need to raise $15,000 for potential upgrades such as keyless entry and a fence around a new playground currently in the works.

School principal Lisa Spalding says safety is her number one priority, but she says the added features aren't necessary to protect the students.  

"I feel like our building is extremely safe. We have all the precautions in mind as we will at this event," Spalding said. "It wouldn't be in my best interest to let the information out about what kind of safety measures are at the school especially it being via media when anyone could be watching."

The idea for upgrades comes in the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

Parents told ABC11 a main concern is the accessibility of the four mobile classrooms behind the school.

Spalding said staff and students have extra keys to keep those mobile classrooms secure.

"We try not to have them unlocked at some points, but if the whole grade level is out for example on the playground where it's very visible, we may keep it open for that period of time, but as far as getting in and out of the pods we're trying to work out the safest way that's occurring."

In order to see money used towards upgrades, the school and the PTA would have to vote on how to spend money from this weekend's Frogapalooza fundraiser.

In the past, the money went toward interactive whiteboards and other school improvements.

Any security upgrades would need to be submitted to the school district for approval.

"You can always make things a little more safe, and I don't think it's always fool proof, but I know the county is looking into that as well so we have some consistent things across all schools," Spalding said.

The school board and the Wake County Sheriff's Office are now forming a task force for creating safer schools in a meeting planned for March.

To read more about the task force click here

In the meantime, the school is hosting its annual fundraiser, Frogapalooza, this weekend. For more information visit: the school's website.

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wake county, local/state, heather waliga
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