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School board updates district safety plan following April 1 incident at Red Jacket High School

The Manchester-Shortsville School Board unveiled some planned changes on Wednesday following an incident earlier this month where a Red Jacket High School student brought a loaded handgun to school.

The board’s meeting was packed with parents, some of whom offered heavy criticism to the board for cutting certain safety measures out of the school budget prior to the incident at Red Jacket on April 1.

What happened at Red Jacket HS on April 1?

Related: Sheriff: Student brought loaded handgun, additional magazine to Red Jacket High School on Friday

The incident involving a 15-year-old boy who brought a loaded gun and extra magazine to school brought great fear to students and families alike. One staff member- reported to be Red Jacket Principal Mark Bracy- has been called a hero for calming the armed student down and eventually disarming him. Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero said the staff member spoke to the student for hours.

Related: Red Jacket principal spoke to student with loaded handgun for hours, says Sheriff Povero

What changes are being made?

The school board plans to bring on a school resource officer (SRO) as part of their revised safety protocol plan, the board announced at their Wednesday, April 20 meeting. Additionally, the district has added swipe card access to exterior doors, a new PA system, and thumb turn locks on all classroom and office doors, according to News10 NBC.

Related: DEBRIEF: Bitcoin mining, shopping mall in flux, hiring struggles, officer involved shooting, and Red Jacket HS incident (podcast)

How have parents responded?

One parent identified only as “Dusty” said “As a leader, you have failed. Your faculty, students, and community do not trust you,” addressing the board at Wednesday’s meeting.

Parents pointed out that the district used to have a SRO before the position was cut out of the school budget.

“You get rid of an SRO because of a budget cut, but nobody forgoes their raises. What’s more important, the safety of those kids, or this school’s monetary value?” asked a parent known only as “Isaac.”

Still, other parents said they did not want an SRO in schools, particularly one from the Sheriff’s Department when there are other options available, like hiring a retired veteran or someone from a private security company.