HAVERHILL — Mayor James Fiorentini and Superintendent Margaret Marotta will unveil plans for better school security after a Haverhill High summer school student allegedly brought a gun into the building.
Fiorentini said he and Marotta will lay out security plans at Tuesday's City Council meeting at 7 p.m. in City Hall.
The mayor he met with Marotta and police Chief Alan DeNaro Friday to review last week's incident at Haverhill High.
At the council meeting, the mayor said he and the superintendent will outline existing school security and an ongoing school security review that began before last week’s incident.
They will also update the council and public on new plans to hire an outside security company to do a complete security audit of the high school building and campus, the mayor said.
"No child should ever be in fear in our schools," Fiorentini said. "With the most recent horrific national events, we need to be certain we are taking every and all precautions and measures recommended by police and security professionals."
Fiorentini was referring to two mass shootings over the weekend — one in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people were killed and more than two dozen injured, and one in Dayton, Ohio, in which nine people were killed and 27 injured.
On July 29, a 16-year-old summer school student fled Haverhill High after a teacher and security guards spotted the student in possession of what appeared to be a gun. Police found and arrested the student up the street from the building on Broadway, but have been unable to locate the gun, Fiorentini said.
"We were already in the process of updating our security plans, policies and procedures, but we will be expediting that process due to the recent incident," Fiorentini said, noting that there were two security guards in the high school at the time of the incident.
Fiorentini said police were already in the midst of a review of school building safety plans for all schools in the district. The review focuses on a police officer inspecting each school to make sure they are secure and following security protocols.
"The high school incident happened in the middle of this review, but it certainly provided us with a reason to speed it up and make sure we quickly make any updates and improvements to our security plans that are recommended by police," Fiorentini said. "We’ve had school safety plans for many years and we are always updating them, but what happened last week is totally unacceptable and must not happen again."
A complete report will appear in Tuesday's print edition of The Eagle-Tribune and online at eagletribune.com.