Currently, the district has 15 security officers, with eight working at the high school.

By: KDKA-TV’s Erika Stanish

ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — The Woodland Hills School District is working to improve its safety and security measures after several fights and threats were made over the last month.

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Students at the high school went back to virtual learning for two days last week after a threat was made that a student was planning to bring a gun to school. The incident happened one week after dozens of students were involved in a cafeteria brawl.

KDKA sat down with the district’s safety and security director on Tuesday to learn what changes have been made over the last week to improve security.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Mike Pietragallo said first, he’s working to hire more security officers. Currently, the district has 15 officers, with eight working at the high school.

Pietragallo said he plans to hire four more in hopes to restructure each officer’s assignments within the building.

“Once the final bell rings and students are in class, those same security officers will pick a direction in the hallway: left, right front, back and walk there. They’ll check the classroom doors. Is anybody in there who shouldn’t be? Check the bathrooms, get the students to class who need to be in class. Make sure the hallways are clear. Just basically maintain some type of structure and flow to get students where they need to be,” Pietragallo said.

The district said as students return to class on Wednesday, anyone in the halls without a pass will be subject to disciplinary measures, including suspension.

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As for communication, Pietragallo said parents were notified right away after a social media threat was made last week, but the teachers’ notification came later.

He said moving forward, both teachers and parents will be notified at the same time.

“Those teachers could have provided other sets of eyes and ears just in the screening process, which would have been a big help,” Pietragallo said.

Every morning, each student will go through a metal detector and their bags will be checked by security. The district said extra metal detectors are in place for students’ return on Wednesday.

In addition, security cameras are placed throughout each campus and are always being monitored.

“You can’t go anywhere on the campus and not be seen. And that goes for every one of the schools within the district,” Pietragallo said.

The district said the administration has also ordered additional radios and earpieces to better facilitate communication between security personnel.

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“We are taking every precaution available to help keep our students and teachers safe,” the district said Tuesday.