School security proposals on several Metro Detroit ballots

Farmington, Dearborn school leaders among those with plans to boost security if millages pass

By Guy Gordon - Reporter/Anchor

FARMINGTON, Mich. - Voters across Metro Detroit will decide on important school millages when they head to the polls on Tuesday.

Many of the proposals are focusing on school safety in communities such as Dearborn, Farmington, Richmond, Troy and Walled Lake.

Farmington Public Schools

In the Farmington Public Schools district, a $154 million bond issue would add two dozen security cameras at every one of the 16 schools -- both inside and out. Each school office would get a panic button to trigger lockdowns if the cameras spot a threat.

"That notifies law enforcement to come right away, 911, as well as it would notify all of our classrooms that it's a lockdown, take cover, and immediately lock all exterior doors," said Sue Zurvalec, superintendent.

Dearborn schools

Dearborn's $76 million levy also would make schools tougher targets.

"It really came from the parents in the community as a request," said Brian Whiston, of Dearborn schools.

Repairing aging buildings, adding Wi-Fi and putting more iPads and digital technology in the hands of students is a pressing need.

"State testing will be done by computers -- we're not able to do that right now, so with this bond issue we'll be able to meet the state requirements for testing," said Whiston.

Bond opponents in some districts say they understand the needs but feel the plans are too grand and too expensive.

While the lion's share of bond money will go toward traditional needs, security seems to be getting the most attention. District leaders want parents to know they hear their concerns about security being a top priority.

When you make student security the primary issue, it's usually tougher for voters to say no.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.