School safety discussions importantIt’s reassuring to hear discussions from the Jamestown Public School Board on improving school safety. Talks are in the early stages and initial recommendations were presented on Monday.
It’s reassuring to hear discussions from the Jamestown Public School Board on improving school safety. Talks are in the early stages and initial recommendations were presented on Monday.
Greg Allen, School Board member, hit on the main point at Monday’s meeting: “There will probably be different levels of security we can put in at different schools, but I don’t want to wait for an incident to make that decision.”
After December’s Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, where 20 students and six adults were murdered, it’s plain ignorance to think any school district is safe.
At Sandy Hook the shooter had hundreds of rounds of ammunition he did not use. That reminds us that every second a shooter is delayed, a life could be saved.
JPS Superintendent Bob Toso worked with Nick Hardy, school resource officer, and Mike Armitage, audio visual technology director, on suggestions to present to the School Board.
The trio recommended installing cameras that can be monitored on locked doors and panic buttons with a direct link to the police department. The cost for all five elementary schools is estimated at $100,000.
Although it was a preliminary discussion Monday, we feel these are prudent first steps.
Yes, schools would be more difficult for the community to access. Yes, parents won’t be able to walk directly in without a call first. But most importantly— students will be that much safer.
Toso and Hardy agreed that a person bent on getting in a building will get into a building.
At Sandy Hook, the doors were locked and there were cameras. Still, the shooter shot out a window and climbed in. The immediate response by school officials in that time sensitive situation saved many lives.
These initial proposed steps at JPS are ones in the right direction, as students’ safety should be the strongest priority.
The school district should also develop a long-term plan with more security improvement ideas for all the district’s schools.
It’s uncomfortable to think about, but also necessary.
As Allen said, we don’t want an incident to dictate what choices we need to make.
(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)