Should the Police and Schools Work Together?

Bethlehem, PA

On the morning of 05 March 2013, the Bethlehem Area School District and the Bethlehem Police Department worked together at Liberty High School on a preparedness exercise and also conducted a sweep of the locker areas for the presence of narcotics.  This event was initiated by Principal Bailey of Liberty High School in an effort to best prepare his staff to protect the students during an emergency situation.  As a part of this exercise, he also asked that we conduct a sweep of the lockers for any narcotics. 

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When Principal Bailey took over at Liberty High School, he asked to meet with the Bethlehem Police Administration and the School Resource Officer to discuss school safety procedures.  Principal Bailey and School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy have a proactive approach to school security and expressed a desire to take affirmative steps to improve student safety and cooperation with the police.  We applaud his efforts and are very happy to work with him, and all members of the Bethlehem Area School District.  We share his desire and passion to provide the best possible environment for student learning and safety.

This exercise tested the internal procedures of the school and the staff to place Liberty High school into a lockdown situation.  There was also a cursory check for illegal drugs in the lockers.  We know, understand, and fully appreciate that there may have been drugs in other locations, on students, or missed by the dogs.  What needs to be considered is that there is a much greater purpose for these events than finding a bag of weed.  Every time we meet with school officials, we discuss plans, ideas and strategies.  We work together and get to know one another better.  We learn from each of these experiences.  We are better prepared today to deal with any event at Liberty High School than we were yesterday, regardless of the scope.  That is the real purpose of these events.  The Bethlehem Area School District and the Bethlehem Police Department take our jobs, and the safety of the students, very seriously.  We will continue to work together, share ideas and make improvements, all in an effort to improve the learning environment in our schools.

Click here for message from Principal Harrison Bailey.

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