Security Upgrades Coming to Stockton Schools

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Perimeter fencing became the new standard in Stockton after a gunman killed five students at Cleveland Elementary School  in 1989.

You’ll see more of it and other physical changes to 18 district schools thanks to decisions made earlier this week.

The question of what can keep school shootings from happening is one that’s lingered after that Stockton  after every incident since.

The new nightmare in Newtown, Conn. shows it may be the most important question that has no fool-proof answer.

Cleveland student Natalie Soto doesn’t feel entirely comfortable on her campus.

” I can’t trust anyone because you don’t know if they’re going to do something to you or not,”  said Natalie, 9.

To help Natalie feel more secure, Cleveland and 18 other Stockton schools  will be getting a security face lift in the form of reconfigured fencing.

That fencing will further restrict already tight building access – a change approved by school board members Tuesday.

There will be other changes as well.

“They’re going to remodel interiors at two of the schools and they’re going to look very carefully at 10 schools. We’ll have an architect find a way to remodel the front of the schools so that when a visitor comes on campus they have to go through some kind of security,” said Dianne Barth, spokesperson for the Stockton Unified School District.

Stockton Unified touts it’s 24-man police force but with 52 schools, no officer can be on any campus constantly.

That’s why district leaders are counting on parents to help them stop situations like the gun that discharged in a classroom this semester.

“It’s not fun. It takes time, but take a look at your child’s backpack in the mornings. Most of us do. I did. Make sure there’s nothing in there that shouldn’t be there,” said Barth.

The district sent a letter to all parents on Friday encouraging attention to those kind of safety precautions and encouraging compliance with safety protocols when families are on campus.

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