Weekly Feature

2018-03-14 / Editorial

School districts, officials honor lives lost

Bee Editorial

The tragedy surrounding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, is being felt across the country.

Mass shootings have increased throughout the years, and people are discussing the best ways to prevent further incidents from happening. They range from doing a better job of screening individuals who are seeking weapons to calling on Congress to act on gun violence.

A National School Walkout, planned by Women’s March organizers, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14. It calls for a walkout of 17 minutes — one minute for each person who was killed in the Florida school shooting. Students at high schools and middle schools in the town will be participating in the walkout, with supervision from school officials. A main priority for schools is being able to keep students safe and to prepare for the possibility of an active shooter. Although it is a terrifying thought, it is important for teachers and staff to have a plan and be able to react to the situation.

Public schools in Amherst have recently addressed student safety during Board of Education meetings. On Tuesday, Amherst Police Chief John Askey was scheduled to offer a presentation on safety during the Williamsville School Board’s meeting.

According to Williamsville Superintendent Scott Martzloff, school principals have worked closely with student organizers to make sure the planned activities are respectful, meaningful and safe for all who participate in the walkout.

Sweet Home Central Superintendent Anthony Day, in a letter to parents, said the shooting in Florida “made a significant impact and fostered a range of emotions in many kids across the country and here at Sweet Home.”

Day added that district officials feel it is important to support the students, should they wish to participate in the planned national walkout.

“We believe that this day can help us reinforce important concepts about safety and community and provide a venue to help our kids grapple with the emotions they may be feeling,” Day said.

After so many lives have been taken, it’s crucial that something be done and for safety preparedness to be a continued conversation.

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