Plum safety coordinator position remains in limbo

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.Updated 10 hours ago A safety coordinator position created a year ago — but never filled — remains in limbo in the Plum School District. First it was delayed until a job description and salary was developed. Then...

Plum safety coordinator position remains in limbo

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Updated 10 hours ago

A safety coordinator position created a year ago — but never filled — remains in limbo in the Plum School District.

First it was delayed until a job description and salary was developed. Then it went to the back burner as the district wrestled with high-profile cases of criminal charges against teachers for having sex with students. In October, most board members sounded as if they were ready to post the position and seek applicants, but that never happened.

“There have been lengthy discussions on changing the safety model in the schools,” board member Vicky Roessler said. “That includes a board-approved safety coordinator position and security at every building, yet the majority of the board refuses to act. In this day and age I don't think you can ever be too prepared or proactive when it comes to the safety of our students.”

The coordinator would oversee safety for students and employees in the district and would report to the school board, according to the job description created last year. Now, district safety decisions are made by Superintendent Tim Glasspool and Michael Brewer, administrative services director.

Board member Sue Caldwell said one reason to delay the hiring was the district had to negotiate its school resource officer program with the borough. Plum schools will drop from two SROs to one in the 2017-18 school year, which is projected to save enough money to afford a safety coordinator.

District business manager John Zahorchak said there is money in the proposed budget to pay for the position at $20 per hour for the upcoming school year.

“There is money available in the safety budget for it since we went from two to one school resource officer,” said board member Steve Schlauch. “Either get it posted or fill it with an existing employee.”

Board President Kevin Dowdell confirmed there were several executive session discussions about the position and hiring someone from within the district, but a candidate was not selected. Board member Rich Zucco said they are still weighing their options.

Caldwell said she would like to move forward with hiring someone, and wants to discuss the SRO assignments and other safety issues at this month's workshop meeting.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367 or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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