Bucks County Parents Attend Forum On School Violence
By Todd Quinones
NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) - Statistically speaking the superintendent of the Council Rock School District says the greatest threat to children’s safety doesn’t come from strange gunmen walking in off the street, but rather someone who is directly connected to the school, such as a parent who might be going through a bitter custody battle.
In the wake of Newtown, school districts and parents are struggling with weighing the risks versus the reality of all kinds of horrible hypothetical security issues.
“I think if someone wanted to do something and someone wanted to get in, they could get in no matter who is there,” parent Matthew Cecatiello said.
Dozens of parents attended a forum on school violence with the superintendent of the Council Rock School District.
It was a week after Newtown when two handguns and a fake rifle were seized from the home of a freshman student at Council Rock South who police allege threatened to shoot students.
The brush with tragedy is what in part prompted this meeting.
“I absolutely regret that we have to do this in the wake of Newtown Connecticut and our own issue, but the conversation is not anything that I would avoid,” Council Rock Superintendent Mark Klein said.
The security suggestions parents mentioned includes adding metal detectors, more security cameras, and installing keypad locks on outside doors.
Parents I spoke with are also in favor of adding armed guards to elementary and middle schools.
Currently there is an armed guard at each of the two of the high schools.
“I wouldn’t mind that because I think kids are more resilient and they will understand they are there to make them feel more safe,” parent Karen Walker said.
This was the first of three forums to be held. Klein plans on taking the list of recommendations from parents and presenting them to the school board in February.