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Lackawanna School Board Upgrades Security

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The Lackawanna Board of Education met in a special session Sunday night to address the issue of security at the city's schools in the wake of Friday's terror arrests.

Seventeen percent of Lackawanna school students are of Arab-American descent. As students return to classes Monday, school officials want to make sure there are no incidents. Sunday night, the school board voted to hire two extra security guards to protect students.

It will be up to individual principals in the district to decide how to respond. Some may call a general student assembly while others may allow teachers to address the issue in the classroom.

Board Vice President Chuck Abdallah said Friday's arrests of five Lackawanna men accused of supporting terrorists are a blow to the community. But the message the district is sedning is that the arrests are not an idictment of all Arab-Americans in Lackawanna.

Schools Superintendent Paul Hashem says he expects there will be some apprehension Monday. But just as the district did following 9/11, he says principals, teachers and students will work through it.