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Jan 10, 2013 4:30 PM by Lauren Molenburg

Newtown schools chief urges continued police guard

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- Newtown's schools superintendent is urging an indefinite police presence at the district's schools to allay fears among parents and children about gun violence.

The News Times reports that a continuing police presence is necessary, with Newtown's department supplemented by officers from other departments, Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson said.

"I've told the police we need them," she said.

Children have not ventured outside school for recess because of anxiety, she said.

Robinson said a continuing police presence would help children believe it is "safe for them to go outside to play."

The Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and six educators were fatally shot by a gunman on Dec. 14, remains closed. Students and staff are using a school in neighboring Monroe.

Parent Amy Roman has asked the Police Commission and Board of Education to continue to provide two police officers at each of the district's six schools.

"We feel this has gone from a want to a need," Roman said.

Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico advised Roman to make her opinions known to other town officials.

"Whatever this town ends up looking like in six months or two years from now will be the result of a lot of thought," he said.

School officials say they've received nearly 300 emails, many voicing concern about long-term security and a police presence.

Before the shootings, the district's top financial priorities were all-day kindergarten, technology upgrades, preparing for high school accreditation and curriculum changes.

District officials now say they are working up financial projections for what added security would cost.

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Information from: The News-Times, http://www.newstimes.com

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time

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