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Some WNY school districts increasing police presence following Texas school shooting

Several schools announced an increase in police presence and changes in security procedures.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — After the mass shooting that rocked Buffalo just 10 days ago, the community is now reliving the trauma after the shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday.

In response to both of these events, several Western New York school districts are announcing changes to their security policies and procedures.

Western New York's largest school district, Buffalo Public Schools posted on its official website Wednesday morning saying "The safety and security of our students and staff is our highest priority."

In response to the mass shootings, the Buffalo Public School District says anyone who wishes to enter one of its schools must first call ahead and obtain prior approval. This includes parents, caregivers, siblings and vendors. According to the school district, exceptions will not be made. 

For the time being, the Buffalo Police Department will have a larger presence at Buffalo Public Schools.

You can read the full statement below:

"The safety and security of our students and staff is our highest priority!  After the horrific Buffalo and Texas Mass Shootings, any person who wishes to enter a school MUST call ahead and obtain prior approval to enter the building.  This includes parents, caregivers, siblings, and vendors; NO EXCEPTIONS will be made. 

"For the safety of all, the doors at each of our school locations will remain locked during the school day. There are camera monitors at the front entrance of each of our school sites. If reporting for a scheduled meeting, ALL visitors will need to announce their name and the name of their child to be buzzed into the school.  Upon entry, visitors may be subjected to a wanding and/ or a search process for additional safety measures. The Buffalo Police Department and/or Buffalo Public Schools Security staff will have a presence in and around schools for an undetermined amount of time. Thank you."

Amherst Central Schools Superintendent Anthony Panella sent a letter to parents addressing safety and counseling topics. Panella shared that there would be additional police in and around the Amherst school buildings.

"Our district continues to focus on maximizing our comprehensive safety planning and monitoring building safety protocols so that the students, faculty and staff in all of our schools are as safe as possible at all times," Panella wrote in the letter.

Panella also stressed if parents have any information about a threat posted on social media, or about illegal, unsafe activities they should call their child's principal or contact him directly.

He went on to say that faculty and counseling staff are on hand to help students and their families with any questions or concerns.

Niagara Falls City Schools are making changes to their security policies, according to a school board member.

Paul Kudela, a member of the board of education, posted on his Facebook page Tuesday night that "any person who wishes to enter a school in Niagara Falls MUST call ahead and obtain prior approval to enter the building."

There is absolutely nothing more important than the safety of our precious children. NOTHING. In light of the horrific...

Posted by Paul Kudela - Niagara Falls Board of Education on Tuesday, May 24, 2022

He went on to say that no exceptions would be made and this applies to parents, guardians, and vendors entering the building.

Niagara Falls Police will also have a presence in and around school buildings for an "undetermined length of time. This includes uniformed and plainclothes officers."

The Niagara County Sheriff posted on Facebook that they have dedicated school resource officers at Newfane CSD and Niagara Career and Technical Institute. The sheriff's office and law enforcement partners will be making extra checks at Niagara County schools for the foreseeable future.

The North Tonawanda Police Department also shared on social media that they will provide extra safety checks over the next few days out of an abundance of caution.

The tragedy at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas yesterday is unthinkable and heart breaking. We cannot even start to...

Posted by North Tonawanda Police Department on Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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