IRVINE : 2 Meetings to Focus on School Security

If school board members have their way, Irvine high school students can expect beefed up security when classes resume this fall.

The Board of Education is set to determine exactly what new security measures to adopt and how much to spend during two special meetings Aug. 3 and 10.

Ideas range from hiring more security guards to installing electronic surveillance cameras.

District officials have focused new attention on the subject since the Safe Community Task Force suggested that increasing campus security might prevent youth violence in the city.

The task force, made up of both city and school district officials as well as residents, recommended more than 50 ways to reduce youth crimes. The security measures will probably be the first recommendations implemented by the Irvine Unified School District.

At the August meetings, school officials plan to present a list of security options as well as estimated costs. One measure being seriously considered is increasing the presence of Irvine police officers on some campuses.

Other ideas, like fencing in some schools or restricting students from leaving campus during school hours, are less likely to be implemented, board President Margie Wakeham said. "Our campuses are designed to be open," Wakeham said.

The district might also distribute a letter to students in September reminding them that neither weapons nor electronic beepers are allowed on campus.

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