ERIE, Pa. — Millcreek Township School Board approved changes to allow for an armed school resource officer at McDowell High School in November.
The board will now look into having an armed officer in McDowell Intermediate High School by the beginning of next school year.
“We still have a ways to go, though, across the other areas of the district. At least up there where we have a large number of students and some vulnerability with our walkway, for now, it’s good,” said superintendent Bill Hall, who referred to security measures at the McDowell High School campus.
He said his stance on whether faculty should carry firearms has changed.
“I think we’re starting to warm up, at least I am, (to) the idea of having maybe two or three people in each building who are highly trained to be able to respond,” said Hall.
McDowell High School senior Morgan Williams, 18, is skeptical about that idea.
“I think we need to arm teachers with books,” she said. “Then, we can talk about arming them with anything else.”
The school board will seek bids for securing a walkway on the McDowell campus, which is heavily traveled and exposed to the public. Hall said he would also like to see an increase in the frequency of hard lockdown drills.
McDowell High School senior Maddy Rush, 18, said, “If we’re ever in this situation, we should know exactly how to react. And I feel like in the past people haven’t taken it as seriously; but now after this, it’s become a big issue.”
Williams is organizing a walkout on March 14 to coincide with the National School Walkout. She said the event is not politically-motivated, but instead a call to action to end gun violence.
The walkout will last 17 minutes with each minute honoring a life lost in the Parkland, Florida school shooting on Feb. 14.
Students at schools across the country and several schools across northwestern Pennsylvania will demonstrate on March 14 at 10 a.m.