Sunday, January 6, 2013

School safety plans - where are they?

Hello? Schools re-open in the morning. That's Monday morning, January 7. Tomorrow.

Have any parents heard from their childrens' schools about any changes in safety plans?

There is a new Facebook page called "Mchenry (sic) County School Forum". It has 26 Likes. 26. Only 26. Where is everybody? How many thousands of parents and students are there in McHenry County? And where is information on that page about increased safety? AWOL.

Go right now to the Woodstock District 200 Schools website.

Read down the list of News and Announcements. There is absolutely nothing, as in NOTHING, about safety, security, changes. And the message that was there about the Newtown tragedy is gone!

The newest item, dated January 4, is about the school district's annual banquet and auction to be held on February 2.

The School Board meets Tuesday night. The meeting is on January 8 at Clay Professional Development Center - what you know as Clay Academy (or the old Clay Street School), located at  112 Grove Street (corner of Clay Street), Woodstock. The meeting time was omitted from the Agenda. On the District's website calendar the starting time is shown as 7:00PM.

Newtown cannot be relegated to the garbage pile. Improved safety and security measures must be implemented. In Illinois we parents and adults are not allowed to provide the increased armed security that is needed.

If you think the good guys shouldn't be around our schools tomorrow morning with guns, just pause for 30 seconds and imagine the bad guys being there with guns. Change your mind?

In the absence of any announcements from the schools about improved safety and security, there is something that parents can do. Parents can be at the schools, walking the perimeter. Have your cell phones fully charged. Have the phone number for Woodstock P.D. (815.338.2131) programmed in your speed-dial. I use SpeedDial position 9 for it. All I have to do is press-and-hold "9", and my phone will dial Woodstock PD.

You might expect to be approached by a Woodstock officer or the school resource officer, if the school has one. Be courteous. He's just doing his job. Stay on the public sidewalk. Leave your weapons at home. No guns, knives, teargas, nightsticks, Kel-ites; just your phone.


Anonymous said...

I would think that hiring an off duty police officers for two 8 hour shifts for the schools where no police officer is assigned would be a good safety measure that could be accomplished pretty easily.
We have highly trained people in the county who could help keep our kids safe.
By hiring off-duty officers you are only paying them for coverage, no insurance benefits etc...
I am sure that our school districts, as with all government agencies, waste money that could be utilized for the safety and security of all.

Gus said...

Great idea. And the schools ought to be able to hire them directly and pay them directly, although the PD would probably have to know about it. Doing it on a direct basis would avoid the over-time route through the P.D., where the PD gives the over-time first to the highest-ranking, highest-paid officer.

Anonymous said...

Schools shouldn't be posting school safety plans- that's confidential and privileged information. How can you expect schools to protect our kids when their response plans and safety/security plans are made public, therefore allowing any nut on the street to view them and attempt to work around them?

I commend schools in McHenry County for their responses to the Newtown, CT shooting. And for the record, many McHenry County schools already have School Resource Officers on site.

Anonymous said...

School safety plans are CONFIDENTIAL and SENSITIVE. Why should they make them public? How can you expect schools to keep our kids safe when they release these plans, thereby allowing any nut-job off the street to view the plans and work around them?

I commend schools in McHenry County for their response to Newtown, CT shootings. They're doing the right thing.

Gus said...

Thanks, Hoppy. Yes, I understand and agree that Security Plans should not be published.

However, schools could indicate to the public that they are beefing up security. Maybe you have read about schools in McHenry County that are doing that. I haven't.

They could invite ideas from the public. Or they could stick their heads in the ground and act like they already have all the answers.