Security on everyone’s mind

Deb Henton

Deb Henton

The last three weeks have been trying for all of us in the community and in the nation, a country that cares deeply about children and security. Of course I am referring to the unspeakable horror at Sandy Hook and the scars it has left on all of us.

In the week following the shooting, as we struggled to make sense of it and begin the process of studying our own security and safety procedures, I was grateful for the many messages I received thanking the school district for taking such good care of this community’s children.

We have also received many suggestions for improvements to our security measures and we are taking those suggestions seriously.

I want you to know that we are approaching the question of security from many angles. We have met with the North Branch Police Department to discuss security and response. We are reviewing our own security measures with a fine- toothed comb and looking for ways to improve. At least one change: the way families are allowed to drop-off and pick up their children from Youth Connections, has already occurred. There will no doubt be more.

We are also looking at our drill process. We conduct many drills over the course of the year, including multiple lock-down drills. Can those drills be improved to increase overall vigilance? That is being explored.

We are fortunate to have a part-time police officer in our schools; his input in the drill process and security measures has been invaluable.

Outside our walls a national debate is heating up over appropriate security and what role society plays in these tragedies, and there is wide-ranging opinion. My assurance to you is that, while we are paying attention, our primary focus is, and always will be, making sure we are doing everything in our power to ensure that when your children come to school in the morning, they return home at the end of the day.

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