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Chatham parents, teachers express safety concerns after gun violence

Mar 02, 2018 3:45 pm
Claire Gilbert reports in The Columbia Paper that at the Feb. 27 Chatham school board meeting, the topic of guns in schools came up after the Feb. 14 deaths of 17 at a Florida school. “We have to stop pretending that this is not going to happen in our hometown,” said Lisa Light Rugen, a Chatham resident. “And we should do everything we can to protect our community." School Superintendent Sal DeAngelo explained that the district is interested in student safety. “Our best approach going forward isn’t to put a Band-Aid on the symptom, but to look to the causes,” DeAngelo said. “I want to assure you that, at a minimum, we have a security plan in place, we practice lockdown drills with our staff, so should something tragic happen, we feel that we are reasonably prepared to deal with it. But again, I think a pound of prevention would go a long way. We really feel the secret to our success will be relationships that we develop with our students, and the programs that we put in place to deal with the issues of these students.” Chatham students are organizing a protest at the school, in conjunction with the National School Walkout at 10 a.m. March 14. Althea Brennan, a junior at Chatham High, is one of the organizers of that protest, and was at the board of education meeting to discuss the walkout. There are also walkouts planned at Hudson High, Catskill High, and Saugerties High School. Both Saugerties High School and Greenville High School host discussions about school safety with parents on March 6. March 1 Mid-Hudson News reported state police at Ulster arrested a Woodstock man on a charge of felony making a terroristic threat against an unnamed school in Ulster County. Also, two people were arrested in separate and unrelated threats at the Pine Plains and BOCES school districts on Wed., Feb. 28. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.