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Blue Mountain School District arms guards with guns for new school year

By Ashley Bellman, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 23 2013 04:35:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 23 2013 05:18:01 PM CDT

A Schuylkill County school district is enacting new security measures to keep its students safe.

NORTH MANHEIM TWP., Pa. -

A Schuylkill County school district is enacting new security measures to keep its students safe.

The concern for extra security in the Blue Mountain School District heightened last December after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., said Robert Urzillo, the district's superintendent.

Now, new safety measures are in place that include two armed security agents at Blue Mountain High School.

"They will be armed with 9 millimeter weapons on Monday," Urzillo said.

"I think it's a great idea," said Tim Burns, who has a daughter at the high school. "I'd be glad to have someone I know there to protect her."

While several parents reacted positively to the change Friday, others are apprehensive about the 9 millimeter guns getting into the wrong hands.

"My main concern is who is going to make sure that those guns are going to be kept away from the hands of students or someone who should not have access to them," said Marie Herne.

Urzillo said the guns will be secured on the two men, who have been through extensive training and are now licensed as Pennsylvania certified agents by the state police.

"It will enhance the well-being of everyone in the school district, students and staff," Urzillo said.

Other safety changes will include the installation of a new vestibule at the high school, which will serve as the only entrance for visitors; shatterproof window coatings at the entrance points; and a card reader.

School begins for all students on Mon., Aug. 26.