Press-Republican

Tuesday

December 18, 2012

Local schools address concerns following tragedy

(Continued)

In addition, he noted, schools must promote communities of respect, work closely will local law and social-service agencies and allocate assets for school-safety efforts.

“It is paramount that our state and federal government officials step forward and provide us with funds to provide for additional safety mechanisms,” Tregan said.

Northern Adirondack Central School Superintendent Laura Marlow added that people must advocate for legislation and controls to be put in place regarding the sale and distribution of firearms.

HEIGHTENED FEARS

But while events like the Connecticut shooting naturally raise concerns about the safety of schools, Hulbert said, statistics indicate that schools are some of the safest public spaces.

“To me, events like this are similar in a way to airplane crashes; when they occur, it is a huge tragedy and incredibly scary, but riding in a car is statistically much riskier, just as being in many other public places in the (United States) are statistically much less safe than public schools,” he said.

“However, we all want our schools to continue to make sure everyone is as safe as possible at all times.”

And, Storms said, “events like this tragedy increase fear in all of us.”

MISTAKE SPURS ALARM

At Keeseville Elementary, Lake Placid Elementary and Northern Adirondack Central, plans have been made to provide parents with resources and information about how to address such tragedies with their children.

And Cringle noted that he corresponded over the weekend with district parents who had security questions and tried to assure them of the school’s efforts to keep students safe.

But parents’ concerns over the safety of their children were evident at Saranac Elementary on Monday, when an automated message was accidentally sent to all district parents telling them that their children were absent from school that day.

The school became aware of the error within minutes and sent out a second automated message telling parents to disregard the first, but many parents were understandably alarmed, calling and even going to the school to see for themselves that their children were safe.

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