Tightened school security was on the agenda when parents gathered in the auditorium at Governor Mifflin High School on Feb. 25 to discuss a wave of bomb threats at the school in recent weeks."The goal is to brainstorm ideas so we can do a better job," said John Sengia principal of the Senior High School.
The first bomb threat occurred on Jan. 25, the second on Jan. 31 and the third on Feb. 20.
Threatening notes were written on the high school's bathroom walls and all threats pertained to only the high school. The recent threat called for an early dismissal.
"It's [bomb threats] a puzzle. We are looking for a pattern," said Sengia. During the meeting parents and Governor Mifflin School District representatives addressed the possibility that it may be more than one person issuing the threats.
Currently all students are required to report to the cafeteria by 7:30 a.m. where they will be transferred by teachers to their homerooms. Students also must show IDs to use the bathroom and their bathroom privileges have been restricted. Students are also required to report rumors or any information pertaining to the threats, and students were given information on the penalty for committing this type of crime.
The school is becoming more strict with students showing and having IDs, which is a relatively new thing for the students. Prior to Mary Weiss, Superintendent of Schools, administration, the school board only required students to show IDs when requested, said Eric Wolf, Director of Instructional and Pupil Services.
Sengia said that he is attempting to secure IDs for students who don't have one. In addition, Sengia informed the parents that a School Safety Committee for students was formed. Currently there are 25 students on the committee. Also a reward of $3000 is being issued. "Students know about the rewards," said Sengia.
At the meeting parents proposed ideas on how to keep their children safe and how to stop the threats. "The more ideas, the more possibilities," said Wolf and the suggestions will be reviewed, said Sengia.
Some ideas are: students to swipe their IDs to enter the bathroom, contacting the Junior Achievement for help until the issue is resolved and have the parents volunteer. "We are glad to have your [parents] help," said Sengia.
Another idea that was presented is having security guards or professionals in the school..
"Currently there are no security guards. Teachers know they have to be on the lookout. Today it is part of their job," said Sengia.
Other ideas are for parents to talk to their children about the threats and for parents to go to school board meetings to express their concerns directly.