Central Indiana schools adjusting security policy for holiday events

Holiday parties and concerts are going on at schools across the country.
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Holiday parties and concerts are going on at schools across the country. It's a much anticipated tradition not just for the students, but often their parents.

"It just really lets us celebrate the holidays; puts everyone in a good mood," said Leonard Holmes, parent.

This year, however, parents at Kitley Elementary were told the parties would be restricted to the kids and the room parents.

A letter from the principal sent Tuesday read in part, "due to the heightened security...we are only allowing designated room parents to volunteer....We understand this is a change from the past, but the recent events in Connecticut have prompted us to tighten up our visitor procedures to keep student safety our number one priority."

It was a change that went further than the other schools in Franklin Township, and one that some parents didn't like.

"I don't really think they should keep parents away from their kids in the special moments," said Holmes.

Wednesday afternoon, the superintendent announced an adjustment to the policy not just for Kitley Elementary but other schools in the district.

"We're asking to know ahead of time the parents who wish to attend our holiday events, the ones that happen during the school day, so that we can have a list and ask for an ID," said Superintendent Flora Reichanadter.

Reichanadter said she wanted to make sure the safety policy was consistent across the district. She said the change also provided "an alternative that would allow us to achieve both goals, continuing to be safe and still allowing parents to come in and participate in what they've traditionally done each year," she said.

Kim Young, a room mother at Kitley, was glad to hear of the change.

"I do like the participation [of other parents.] And as a mom I know only have a few short years until our kids are grown," said Young.

But parent Debbie Ptizer said she would have been would have been fine forgoing the parties.

"When I think about the time we're living in right now, that we have some pretty extreme things going on, we have to do whatever we can to keep our children safe," said Debbie Pitzer, parent.

Reichanadter said she wasn't sure if the policy requiring parents to pre-register and show an ID would apply to all future school functions. She said plans were to review the current safety procedures, getting input from parents, teachers and school administrators before making any decisions.