Southeast Delaware County School District to receive $94K to upgrade school security
SHARON HILL, Pa. - The Southeast Delaware County School District will receive more than 94-thousand dollars in state grant money to upgrade school security systems.
Elected officials from the county announced the funding on Tuesday during a press conference at the Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill.
The money will be used to upgrade camera and radio equipment across the district, which District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer says he has seen an "influx of crime."
In January 2021, the high school was locked down because a student brought what appeared to be a gun to class. Then, in August, an 8-year-old was shot and killed near the football field by police officers who thought they were being shot at by young men carrying guns.
"Why they have access to firearms and why they think having a firearm is a way to settle a dispute is something we have to stop," said Stollsteimer.
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With more than 4,300 students in the district, new cameras can be expected in the high school, elementary school, and kindergarten center. The Superintendent of schools says that Academy Park will even receive "window armor," which would allow a teacher to shield the windows in the case of an intruder.
"If there’s an intruder, teachers will be able to hit the armor and bring down the piece so no one can look in the room," said Superintendent Brenda Wynder.
Community leaders believe that the increase in violence is due to a behavioral and mental health crisis among young people, so hardening the campuses of the district’s school is the first step.
State Senator, Anthony Williams, a representative of the community said, "Technology, along with mental health intervention, along with safety officers are going to be the hallmark of any public system in America, and now in Delaware County."
Officials are urging districts in Delaware County to apply for this grant money in the future as they also promise a focus on mental health among young people, not just in Delaware County, but across the region.