Onteora forum on school safety is March 7

Onteora Superintendent Victoria McLaren

Moved by the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 people died at the hands of teenager, the Onteora Central School District will hold a Community Forum on safety at district schools at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in the Middle/High School auditorium at the Boiceville campus.

District Superintendent Victoria McLaren said the forum was for families to, “express their concerns about safety and we will listen.” She also added that there would be speakers who will review the district’s safety procedures. “So much has changed, with safety procedures just in the past five years,” she said.

Most notable are the locked front doors in all schools throughout the district where people must be allowed in via a door buzzer. The Middle/High School also has security cameras in and around the building. McLaren also mentioned safety teams, lock down drills, the School Resource Officer and local law enforcement participating. “It’s become such a normal part of life, conducting these safety drills with the students, and we are lucky to have all of local law enforcement aware of the layout of each building,” she said.

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McLaren does not support President Donald Trump’s notion that teachers should be trained to shoot and carry guns. She would not carry a gun, nor does she support anyone other than law enforcement to carry a gun in schools.

Students around the United States are planning to have a National school walkout on March 14 at 10 a.m., exactly one month from the tragedy. The event is planned to take place for exactly 17 minutes on behalf of the 17 victims (mostly teens). Locally, there has been plenty of talk that students, teachers and parents support this event and plan to participate.

Does McLaren support students and teachers walking out on March 14?

Noting that it is a student driven protest she said they’re still in the information gathering stages. “At this point, we don’t have a plan, so I can’t comment on it.” More information will be forthcoming.

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