NH schools train for emergencies, will soon see security upgrades

For state leaders, protecting children in New Hampshire's schools is a top priority.

New Hampshire Homeland Security director Perry Plummer said New Hampshire has some of the safest schools in the country but every precaution needs to be taken so schools are ready for anything.

"I don't know of any state that's done more than we have post-Sandy Hook," Plummer said.

New Hampshire is investing $20 million to improve safety at over 300 schools.

He said he hopes that someday all schools will get the money needed to make upgrades.

"We're not just throwing money at the problem. We're taking this complex assessment, identifying gaps in school security, and then putting dollars to it so I think it's really well-funded," Plummer said.

Plummer said the state has reviewed and made recommendations to more than 80% of New Hampshire schools.

Since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, officials have investigated about a dozen school threats.

"Action is being taken. Every threat is followed up on and we'll leave no stone unturned to make sure that we keep our kids safe," Plummer said.

President Trump is advocating for arming some teachers to prevent tragedies.

That idea has drawn some mixed reactions.

Megan Tuttle, president of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association, said, "We do not want to arm teachers. We went into education as educators to work with kids. We did not go in to have guns in our desks."

"There's been a lot of grandparents and parents and family members who had law enfrocement experience, military experience and firearms experience, many who would volunteer" said Penny Dean, an advocate for firearms.

Meanwhile, Plummer said, schools are always prepared for every scenario.

"There's all this stuff happening behind the scenes in the state of New Hampshire to keep them safe," Plummer said.

Officials all seemed to agree on one thing: A solution won't come overnight and all the stakeholders need to work together to figure out the best way to protect schools

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