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Burke schools get grant for panic alarms

MORGANTON A grant from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction will help the Burke County Public Schools install panic alarms at every school in the system, officials say.

The state has awarded a $25,766 grant to Burke County, as part of funding from a $2 million school safety bill adopted last year by the General Assembly. The Burke schools are required to match the state grant.

“In the event of an emergency, these panic alarms will allow school personnel to, with the push of a button, send a signal to law enforcement, alerting authorities that immediate help is needed,” said Burke schools Superintendent Larry Putnam.

“Of course, the hope is we will never have to use them, but looking back on lessons learned from Sandy Hook, Columbine and other school shooting tragedies, these panic alarms will add another layer of security to our schools,” Putnam added.

Earlier this academic year, the Burke County Schools received $208,000 from the state to help hire eight school resource officers. The school system contributed an additional $235,042 toward the salaries of those school-assigned police officers.

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