NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Local, state, and federal leaders are pushing for safer schools in Niagara Falls, and thanks to a chunk of change from Washington D.C., the district is taking action.
Congressman Brian Higgins was in town Wednesday to announce that one million dollars will be directed throughout the district.

At the beginning of the academic year, weapon detectors were installed at every elementary school. Now, new programs are being considered. Violence response training for teachers and violence prevention programs are at the top of their list.

Niagara Falls Mayor Rob Restaino says this is a good thing but also a sad reality.

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves at a time where we have to think about so much that is necessary to keep our educational facilities safe,” said Restaino.

In addition to the new technology, the Superintendent of Niagara Falls Schools, Mark Laurie, says establishing healthy relationships is crucial for growing healthy minds. That’s why the district is partnering with the Ministerial Council and Pastor Craig Pridgen.

Pridgen says making safe schools will help the community grow stronger too.

“At the end of the day, we only have one role in this life. And that is to protect and save the young people that just walked into this building and are walking through the halls today,” said Pridgen.

Laurie says at the School Board Meeting Thursday they will discuss the possibility of installing more security cameras, wired doors, and additional weapons detection systems.

Abby Fridmann is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in November 2020. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.