Southold BOE Notebook: Security plans, vandalism and cafeteria food

FILE PHOTO | The Southold school board met Wednesday night.
FILE PHOTO | The Southold school board met Wednesday night and discussed security plans, vandalism and cafeteria food.

The Southold school board unanimously approved its district-level security plan Wednesday night in order to comply with a state-imposed deadline.

During the Board of Education’s regular meeting, Superintendent David Gamberg said although the state has required districts to post security plans to their websites by Jan. 22, most safety measures will remain confidential.

“The more significant parts of the district safety plan are really the building plans and those are not subject to public disclosure,” he said.

School board member Scott DeSimone questioned the state mandate and described it as “ridiculous.”

“It makes them look like they are doing their jobs by making us put something up,” he said.

Mr. Gamberg said the state didn’t give him a reason for the requirement when they contacted him about it last week.

“The state education department basically said make sure you have this district plan posted on your website,” he said. “They just said, ‘Do it.’ ”

Board president Paulette Ofrias described the district-level plan as a template they received from BOCES. It was posted online Thursday.

The new security measures comes after last month’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn. About a week following that tragedy, the Southold Board of Education approved funding to install new locking safety doors at Southold Elementary School.


Mr. Gamberg also confirmed during the board meeting that vandals broke into the school sometime around the holiday break.

“No significant damage was reported, but, nonetheless, custodial staff had to act quickly to clean up the mess prior to the start of classes the next morning,” he said.

No other details about the incident were immediately available.


The district has created a student quality control committee to help improve cafeteria service.

Mr. Gamberg said students have come to him recently with complaints about portion sizes and food quality. Since then, he said he’s arranged meetings with the district’s food coordinator and food service company.

The committee will be tasked with researching the situation and surveying students, he said.

“We can make this a real educational process,” Mr. Gamberg said, “where you go to you raise concerns, bring back information with you and not just simply say ‘We don’t like this.’ ”

Read more in the Jan. 31 issue of The Suffolk Times in both our print and electronic editions.

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