Parents and students on edge yet again, as several more schools in Connecticut are forced to heighten security over potential threats.
On Tuesday night in Derby, school leaders wanted to discuss the issue with parents, as well as students, who have grown up with school shootings as a part of their lives.
School and law enforcement leaders in Derby understand that the recent mass shooting in Florida and subsequent school threats all over the state and country have put students and parents are on edge.
“It is one of the most important things you can do is provide access listen learn give them an opportunity to ask questions,” said Derby Superintendent of Schools Matt Conway.
Conway said over the last four years the district has enhanced safety by adding more security guards and checkpoints.
Sgt. John Netto, who heads the Derby Police Department’s school detective division, says the program is stronger than ever.
“We are actively training and in these things, all the time and we are running scenarios through our head trying to make our plan is fluid. To adopt to any situation that’s presented,” Netto said.
“The world is an extremely dangerous place there is darkness and fear in every corner but our school should not reflect that,” said Derby High School senior Christian Olenoski.
Olenoski hopes schools all across the country increase mental health resources but he says Tuesday’s forum did make him feel safer at school.
“They addressed everything that really I was hoping they would,” Olenoski said.
“I’m in a unique position because I’m not only a parent I’m also a teacher in the district,” said Alicia Olenoski, Christian’s mom, who teaches third grade in the district.
She said she feels the collaborative effort put everyone at ease.
“I was aware of a lot of what was happening but it was very good to see it all in one place and hear the police officers as well it makes you feel more secure,” Olenoski said.
Conway said a big part of school safety starts at home. Even though it’s not easy try to discuss the issue with your children at home too.
“The more kids talk themselves through it with an adult the more they are able to practice it in their mind just like in athletics you are able to do it better when you really have to do it,” Conway said.
Netto also stressed to parents and students that in this day and age if it is especially important to contact police right away if you see or hear anything that seems strange.
Prevention and early detection are the most important ways they keep people safe.
Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.