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Tell Us: School Security

Does Port Washington need more high tech security? More paid guards?

In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, many Port Washington parents have expressed concerns about school security.

The Port Washington School District is collaborating with Port Washington and Sands Point police, which this week increased its presence around the schools. It is also encouraging parents to attend the Jan. 8 school board meeting to share concerns.

Which leads to the questions: how much more would you like to see in terms of security? More high tech security? More paid guards?

Blue Heron December 18, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Respectfully, Mr. Winant, please read today's NY TImes, article titled "A Misguided Focus on Mental Illness". Here is a short quote: "But there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts. Only about 4 percent of violence in the United States can be attributed to people with mental illness." Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism, ALSO NOT LINKED to violent crimes. He was a loner, which fits the prototype, but being a loner doesn't constitute having "mental issues". What CAN be linked to this is a mother who collected and loved of guns and taught her son to do the same. He grew up in this environment, taken to shooting ranges and associating with people who also spend time with their guns. "Nuttiness" in the family is all over the map. As forensic experts piece this disjunct and evidence-less puzzle together, hopefully we'll get a clearer picture. But all this speculation about 'why' he did it? With all due respect, his was not a normal response - to anything. But look at the facts. Treating mental illness in this messy society is our obligation, yes. A ban on assault weapons is imminent. It's politically correct. I'm guessing even the NRA will support it. The facts are that the majority of murders are committed not with assult weapons, but with handguns. How do we reckon with this "real issue"? Is it not a critical piece of the puzzle?
Blue Heron December 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I don't mean to 'filibuster' here. But I just had to include this conclusion of the Times' article (A Misguided Focus on Mental Illness) This nails it: "Adam Lanza was prohibited from purchasing a gun, because he was too young. Yet he managed to get his hands on guns — his mother’s — anyway. If we really want to stop young men like him from becoming mass murderers, and prevent the small amount of violence attributable to mental illness, we should invest our resources in better screening for, and treatment of, psychiatric illness in young people. All the focus on the small number of people with mental illness who are violent serves to make us feel safer by displacing and limiting the threat of violence to a small, well-defined group. But the sad and frightening truth is that the vast majority of homicides are carried out by outwardly normal people in the grip of all too ordinary human aggression to whom we provide nearly unfettered access to deadly force."
bthebest December 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Not to diminish the importance of strict gun laws but we (the parents, teachers, administrators, neighbors and students) need to address what drove such a young man to committ such a horrible crime. All too many times the concerns regarding a bullied child, or an obsessive child or a child that is an outcast are over looked. We need to stop taking a laid back approach and actually address these issues and take them seriously. If this kid didn't take his mother's guns he would have found another weapon because the bottom line is that he had some serious mental issues and that is where the focus of all schools should be right now.
Blue Heron December 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Port Resident, Are you aware of DASA? SAVE? It's required training, by law. And we get it. Why do you assume that the schools and educators don't do their jobs?Are educators supposed to cure the ills of society? Unless a parent or caregiver consents to 'identify' a child as being in need of ANY kind of help, we are unable to offer that child special services. Rather than offer their children help, their fears and assumption that the child will be labeled or stigmatized rather than helped, stops them. I write notes, emails, make calls home, talk to children, their teachers and administrators. From a teacher's perspective, when a parent doesn't respond, cooperate, support or reinforce, we are powerless. Do you think Lanza's mother would have responded to caring teachers? You know what the noble and loving teachers at Sandy Hook did for their children and understand that we're all special people. None of us would do anything different than they did. Spend some time with a teacher at school. Take off a day or two. If you'd like to come trail me, please do. Then tell me it's our fault.

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