February 26, 2018

Question from Sandy Bredthauer:
As I’m sure you are aware the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been promoting this on social media and I’m concerned and curious how our district plans to address the school walkouts, and if we can offer a safer alternative for students (especially Jr High and a Elementary), so that they are not exiting the building of the school. As per ACLU schools cannot punish students for a walkout in any way different than they would for missing class for another reason. Can we as a district plan a method to address these kids going to an auditorium or silence at their desks vs walking out of the building? I’m not saying I agree or disagree with this movement, but we need to address it.
March 14, 2018: National School Walkout

The Women’s March’s Youth EMPOWER group is planning a national school walkout on March 14, 2018, according to the group’s website. At 10 a.m. in every time zone, organizers are encouraging teachers, students, administrators, parents and allies to walk out for 17 minutes — one for every person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

I’m hoping this walkout plan will be addressed at tonight’s Board of Education meeting, I know this as well as school security is being discussed at length online by parents. 

One item which has repeatedly come up online is the door security items for purchase (ie: the Barracuda)... in looking into many of these school shootings door security was never an issue. In Florida the gunman pulled the fire alarm and attacked those in the halls. In Sandy Hook the two classrooms he killed children in never locked their doors and the locked classroom was bypassed. In Columbine they shot kids eating lunch outside, in hallways, and in the library which had the doors secured open. In no school shooting situation that I’ve read yet has there been a breaking down of a classroom door or shooting through a door issue so I’m wondering about the protocol of the district about classroom door locking which seems to be the #1 easiest and first line of defense. 

I’m aware our budget passed to build security atriums or whatever they’re called at the front of the schools... timeline?


Response from Amy Watkins:

The District is aware of the walkout discussed on social media.  We are currently working with our administrators to establish a proactive response for our students.
Regarding the security vestibules, the District has reached out to our State legislative representatives for their assistance. Our plans were submitted to NYS prior to the events in Florida. We reached out again to our contact at the State only to learn there is no timeline for when these will be reviewed by the State for approval.