Following a on the field at the , the held a discussion about the current security measures in place when school is not in session.
The question about security at the school buildings was raised by board vice-President William Hornberger at the July 8 meeting at the in response to a plastic trash container being burned at the southern bleachers on June 30.
Last year there were reportedly two incidents at both the Hampton and schools. “It was mischief on both parts, but not because the building’s weren’t locked or properly closed,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler said.
The gate to Hampton is left open for residents to use the track and access is open to the playground at Cross Street.
“In both of those instances we had vandalism,” Dr. Nagler said, pointing out that the perpetrator at Hampton last year was not a Mineola student, while a district student was responsible at Cross. Police are reportedly still searching for the arsonist from the June 30 incident at Hampton.
No locked gates exist on Winthrop Avenue to the Cross Street field or on the Hudson Street entrance to the Hampton Street field. A locked gate to Hampton does exist off Union Street.
“I don’t think we can secure it any other way,” Nagler said, “vandalism is vandalism, they’re going to find a way to do it. They’d break the locks or they’d hop the fence.”
Last year the district added gates in response to one of the incidents.
“I’m not suggesting that we have to lock down our facilities or that we have en masse issues, but I do want to make sure that we’re cognisant of the events that are occurring and if we do see some sort of spike,” Hornberger said.
The district does have security patrols go around to the various buildings but “tend” not to have as many during the summer.
“When you have one incident it doesn’t mean that it’s happening all the time,” Nagler said.