AS of last week, Bialik College and the King David School (KDS) have armed guards patrolling their campuses.
In a joint statement, principals Jeremy Stowe-Lindner from Bialik and Marc Light from KDS explained that in light of the current political climate and recent terrorist attacks, the schools will be upgrading the security arrangements by employing armed personnel.
Acting on advice from the Community Security Group (CSG) and independent security consultants, KDS and Bialik College join Mount Scopus, Yeshivah College and Beth Rivkah Ladies College in amping up its security measures.
The statement noted that this decision will bring the schools in line with the practices that have been in place in Sydney’s Jewish schools for more than 20 years.
It said: “Bialik College and the King David School have acted in concert in this decision, after taking advice from the CSG, the security advisor used by a number of the Jewish schools and commissioning a joint report from an independent security consultancy. With the inputs of all of these independent expert organisations, changes to security arrangements will be made.”
Elaborating on the decision to collaborate, the statement said, “The schools have decided to work together on this matter as both received the same advice from CSG, both employ the same security consultant and use the same guarding company. It was then decided to combine resources to seek the added input of an expert security company.
“The similar advice received from all this analysis made it beneficial for the schools to work together on implementation.”
The statement added that “this process will be undertaken in the safest and most responsible matter.”
CSG Victoria CEO Ricky Pearl emphasised that the recommendations given to Jewish schools does not relate to any particular threat, but is part of its “long-term strategy” for all schools to follow similar procedures as Sydney.
In a letter sent to parents, Stowe-Lindner and Light said: “The safety of everyone attending our schools is our highest priority and we continue to take the steps necessary to ensure a safe and secure environment for us all.”