Long Island District Considering Stricter Visitor Policies

Long Island District Considering Stricter Visitor Policies

The Manhasset School District Board of Education is considering revising its campus visitor policy to further protect schools and students.

The Manhasset School District has reinforced security on its campuses during the past year by installing new vestibules at entrances; now, the Board of Education is considering doubling down on safety by updating the district’s visitor policy to be stricter.

The proposed new policy would involve changes ranging from restricting opportunities for parents and guardians to drop off items for students to managing how visitors can access the building for meetings.

According to Trustee Patricia Aitken, the changes would take some adjustment but eventually become routine and contribute positively to the safety of the community.

“We’re not an island here. Everybody else is really doing the same kind of thing, unfortunately,” Aitken said. “This is the kind of thing that has to be done in today’s world.”

Under the current draft of the proposed policy, parents and community members who want to meet with a teacher would be required to plan the meeting in advance so they can be added to a list given to the campus security guards.

The new policies would also create a 90-minute window in the morning for parents to drop off items for their children on campus, which would then be placed in a box at security. Manhasset Secondary School would have both a morning and an afternoon drop-off window. Food drop-offs would not be allowed.

“During the lunch periods at the secondary school last month when we did the count there were over 120, I believe, drop offs [per day] of lunches and coffees and whatever else,” Superintendent Vincent Butera said.

When a student asked at the board meeting whether the visitor policy would affect college students returning to visit their former teachers, Principal Dean Schlanger said the high school would likely set up a procedure for that scenario.

“We’re definitely going to do something, but students just showing up and walking around the building? No,” Schlanger said.

The goal of the revised visitor policy would be to ensure that everyone in a campus building is authorized to be there.

The school board has not yet set a date for voting on the policy.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.