CDP Editorial: Searching for security

Our View

Following last week’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., community members were left with many questions regarding the safety of our children. While Moffat County School District administrators may not have answers to all those questions, their actions in the wake of last week’s shooting show how serious they are about keeping our students safe.

Ever since the Denver Post and 9News released the findings of a joint investigation into Colorado’s child welfare system, the safety of the children in the Moffat County community has been a topic of concern and conversation.

That conversation took a tragic turn last week when a gunman opened fire in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Since that morning last Friday, the welfare of our children is an issue that has weighed heavily on the minds of many community members, especially parents and teachers. More specifically, questions have been raised as to how we can prevent a tragedy like the shooting in Newtown from happening here as well as the procedure Moffat County School District has in place if the unthinkable does happen.

Like many community members we have searched high and low trying to find the answers to those questions, only uncovering more questions in that pursuit.

For other places across the country, tragedies like this can seem far away, like a bad dream in another world. That isn’t the case in Colorado.

The residents of our state know all too well the feelings of helplessness and panic that come after experiencing a horrible act of mass killing. We have watched other communities in our state suffer in the same way Newtown is suffering today, and we should know an attitude of “it can’t happen here” only leads to bad things.

Fortunately we have leaders who seem to realize this fact — starting with the administrators in the Moffat County School District.

A day after the Newtown tragedy, superintendent Joe Petrone issued a letter to the community seeking to calm the fears of local parents and assure them the school district is taking a proactive approach to making sure a similar massacre doesn’t happen in Moffat County.

This week he took it one step further, offering two community meetings — one last night at MCHS and another at 6 p.m. today at Sandrock Elementary School, 201 E. Ninth St. — to make sure parents understand the district’s safety procedures as well as to answer questions.

We encourage community members to attend tonight’s meeting if they couldn’t make it to Tuesday’s. We also applaud Petrone and the other MCSD administrators for their swift and deliberate response to last week’s tragedy.

We know they don’t have answers to all the questions events like the Newtown shooting generate just as we know it’s impossible to completely remove the risk of a similar situation happening here.

But we feel a lot better knowing MCSD administrators are proactively doing everything they can to keep our students safe.

Comments

Patrick Germond 1 year, 4 months ago

I brought up that our schools can be broken into with a rock by braking the widow out of one of the doors and reaching in and opening it up. The school district leaders agreed this was the case. I informed them that was how the Sandy Hook shooter gained entry, he shot out the window. I asked for more officers to patrol the schools too. We have two, but we have eight schools all together, counting the preschool and the alternative school. Neither of my concernes were met with any kind of comments or attitudes that would lead me to believe they will be improved upon or acted on. They brushed them aside really. I think as parents we are going to have to get involved if we want security improved. Now I'm not saying our leaders are bad people, they just don't see the problem we are facing in our future. We have mentally ill people in our community and we have a lot of guns in our community. And as I pointed out gun control will not help this problem. An AR15 with an average site on it is $1600. A Taurus .357 magnum that holds eight rounds cost about $450. The fire power under any current gun ban will not go down. A person can buy four of those revolvers and carry speed loaders and quite possibly do more damage than at Sandy Hook. I really want to see the front door at least hardened to the point that a person with a rock and a knife can be kept out. At least. P.S. Please, I don't want a gun control debate. I just want the school made safer.

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reasonableexpectations 1 year, 4 months ago

It doesn't matter what safeguards are put in place. Unless we lock down our schools like prisons and prevent access to classrooms by anyone who is not an employee or student, someone who wants to get in will find a way to get in. We need to deal with the problem, not the symptoms. Bulletproof glass in all the classrooms? A lot of money for a false sense of security.

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Patrick Germond 1 year, 4 months ago

Some simple chain link gaurds on the front door widows is what I'm asking for. Not bullet proof widows all around. You made a comment about prisons. We are trying to keep criminals out so yea, some of that is going to have to happen. Think of it as a reverse prison.

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mocoobserve 1 year, 4 months ago

As a Parent I see both sides. I do not want my kids to be in a "prison", or feel like they are, but I do not want some creep gaining access to their school. How do you protect against a student intent on causing harm though, they are already inside? I watched the segment on the TX school that allows faculty to carry a concealed weapon if they are permitted and educated in safety. Security officers or armed faculty are going to be the only things to deter a creep from going to a school where currently they know there is nothing to stand in their way.

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Patrick Germond 1 year, 4 months ago

Yup, it's part of the new world we live in. We have to secure the schools. The bad guys may find a way to do what they want, but we need to at least try and stop it. A least with the simplest of measures.

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