Lehigh Valley

Superintendent speaks of Pen Argyl armed security guards

PEN ARGYL, Pa. - It's a new normal in the Pen Argyl School District.

"They're here at arrival and here until dismissal time," Pen Argyl Area School District Superintendent William Haberl said.

An armed security guard is now stationed at each school in the district -- Pen Argyl High School, Wind Gap Middle and Plainfield Elementary -- a direct response to the recent mass shooting at a Florida High School and others in the past.

"Every time I watch that my heart breaks and I say those schools look just like the schools we have in Pen Argyl and all across the Lehigh Valley," Haberl said.

The officers come from a private security firm, one the district has worked with before.

Each guard has experience in law enforcement and will patrol both inside and outside the schools.

Parents in the district received an email last week letting them know about the new layer of security.

It's a decision we found most were in favor of.

In the letter, the superintendent calls school shootings a sad and painful reality, which he says has led to this new reality of armed guards.

"Unfortunately no place has become safe anymore," Haberl said. 

The superintendent says for now he thinks just one armed officer at each school is enough but that could always change if necessary.

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