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Students, faculty respond to Newtown shooting

by Samantha Libraty
On the heels of the second deadliest school shooting in this country’s history, administrators have discussed school security in response to parent, student and faculty concerns, and students are collecting money for Sandy Hook Elementary students.
Friday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza forcibly entered Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 students and six faculty members. While mourning this tragedy, the country has discussed gun control, mental health programs and school security.

Superintendent David Fleishman and principal Jennifer Price met Wednesday to discuss concerns and possible changes to this school’s security system in response to the shooting.

Fleishman reassured the community that everyone should feel safe at school, and administrators will be working with the mayor and the police department to make sure that students feel safe.

Fleishman wrote in an email, “A broad spectrum of suggestions has been shared, ranging from significant security changes to minor tweaks. Given the critical nature of this issue, it is hard to imagine that we will not make some shifts in our current practices.

In addition, he wrote, “After many hours of discussion, we have a list of items that we will be considering over the next couple of weeks.

“We will examine all of our safety procedures, assess our identification and sign-in policies, look at implementing a buzzer and camera system at each of our pre-K-8 schools and review of our current practice of permitting parents to enter our pre-K-5 schools during drop-off and pick-up.”

In reference to this school, Price said, “The new building has many great security measures that the old building did not have: there are shades in every classroom, locks on every door and a clear, effective intercom system.”

In an effort to rally around the Newtown community, juniors Catherine Bohling, Monica Kieff and Hannah Searles started collecting money this week in order to buy stuffed animals for Sandy Hook students.

Each of these juniors will collect money through February when the stuffed animals will be bought and sent to the students, Kieff said Monday.
Kieff said she and her friends wanted to recognize and help the Sandy Hook students who have still have to go to school and deal with the aftermath of the shooting.
In response to student involvement and concern, Price said, “This event elicits a range of emotions and reactions, and I anticipated that. Some students are scared or uncomfortable, and that is normal.”

About Bohling, Kieff and Searles’ project, she said, “I’m excited that people want to help, and this is a very Newton North thing to do.”

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