Clouet: District has rigid security in place

Photo of Brian Gioiele
School Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet.

School Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet.

Elias Rosario / Contributed photo

Parents, students and staff were greeted by extra security Thursday, Sept. 26, in the wake of a Shelton High School student’s arrest the previous day after posting a video of himself with what appeared to be a gun and making death threats.

The arrest had many parents on social media uneasy, but school Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet says he assures all that, while improvements can always be made, the district prides itself on its security practices.

“The main security benefit is the high level of cooperation with the Shelton Police Department,” said Clouet, “and (Wednesday, Sept. 25) highlighted that cooperation. The police acted quickly and helped provide a safe environment for our children. Shelton police are an active presence in our schools, and I appreciate the police department working with us.”

Among the security measures in place is protective glass and security cameras at the schools, as well as two tiers of door-lock systems at each facility. To enter, people must ring a bell, identify themselves and must be buzzed into both doors. Once inside, people must produce identification to go further into the school building. Cameras are also linked to the police department for added security.

“We have a rigid system,” said Clouet, “and we are in contact with the police department all the time.”

On-site, Clouet said Shelton High School has several guards, some of whom are ex-police officers. There is also one of the school resource officers, who are police officer who are responsible for working with school administrators, security staff and faculty on developing comprehensive safety plans to ensure schools are safe places for students to learn.

“Some of the security guards are licensed to carry firearms,” said Clouet.

Shelton Intermediate School has similar numbers of security guards and a school resource officer to that of the high school. At Perry Hill School, Clouet said there is a part-time school resource officer who is available when traffic control is required and performs several facility walk-throughs.

One area that Clouet hopes to strengthen is the elementary schools, at which there are no assigned school resource officers. Clouet said at elementary schools, police are much more present during drop-off periods, doing walk-throughs, randomly park police vehicles in the lot for increased visibility.

"I would welcome the opportunity to revisit this with the Board of Aldermen,” said Clouet about hiring school resource officers for the elementary schools. “I do think SROs would be a welcome addition.”

Clouet said that police officers routinely visit each elementary school, parking out front during morning drop-offs and afternoon pickups; walking the halls during the school day; and having police vehicles at schools at various times during the day and week.