Monday night’s meeting addressing the issue of potential gun violence in schools brought out many important suggestions from students and parents that cannot be ignored.
Most everyone spoke for the need for more protection. A student suggested that on the secondary level, the student issued ID cards be used additionally as swipe cards for entry to all facilities.
Non-swipe cardholders would not be able to enter without a liaison or escort from the school staff.
Parents from all schools expressed the need for armed guards or metal detectors before admission to any school facility. There was also the recommendation that we all be of the mindset to say something if we see something.
Finally, the suggestion to teach students and teachers alike how to respond to active threats, how to recognize behaviors that might make a student appears to be one that could become a threat to others and himself, and how to continue to nurture an environment for tolerance and compassion to others, are all important to promote school security.
Some or all of these measures should be considered by the Great Neck Public Schools and Board of Education for all of the Great Neck Public School facilities.
Some or all of these measures require money.
How wasteful it now seems to consider spending close to a million dollars on a parking lot for a fraction of seniors at one school.
Given the pushback from the neighbors who were not afforded the due process from building or citizen advisory committees in this project, and given the better use of monies for safety issues in every school in the GNPS, the BOE should abandon this project and encourage seniors to park at the GNPS owned Parkwood parking lot, and perhaps consider enlarging the zones for which students are entitled to busing.
Given the fact that this year’s budget is $4 million over last years, and the allocation of funds for security had not been considered, it might be wise to use the monies saved from the parking lot for the purpose of district-wide security enhancements.