Scarice Addresses School Safety Concerns

Yesterday, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice sent this message to all Westport Public Schools parents:

Late yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon, the district was informed of a disturbing trend of school violence threats on social media. Social media posts have mentioned acts of school violence on December 17.

The state Department of Education shared information this morning [Thursday] that state law enforcement officials have determined that these threats are not credible. The posts have not originated in our town, and there have been no specific threats to our schools. However, some of our students have mentioned this trend to faculty and administrators today.

We are fortunate to have a very effective partnership with our local law enforcement experts, the Westport Police Department. In addition, a security guard is assigned to each school, there is a School Resource Officer at our high school, and the WPD has assigned an additional police officer dedicated exclusively to our school campuses.

As a precaution, the Westport Police Department has offered to station an officer outside each of our schools tomorrow [Friday] for the school day. Again, although these threats are not deemed credible or specific to Westport, at a minimum this presence will serve to reassure any members of our school community who might have concerns about this social media trend, particularly for tomorrow.

If you or your child receive any information related to specific threats to our school community, it is critically important that you make a report to the WPD and school immediately.

One response to “Scarice Addresses School Safety Concerns

  1. We continue to turn a blind eye to this ongoing school violence issue. The most recent events should serve as a warning that reactive is not a strategy and that school officials are not equipped to make decisions concerning threat assessment (nor should they necessarily be). Many people fought very hard to finally get a School Resource Officer in Staples High School, finally acknowledging what every other school system in Fairfield County (and many across the country) has known for many years, that a trained SRO is highly effective as a proactive presence and a daily positive experience for students on many levels. It is past time to expand the program to all Westport schools and give all our students and school staff the comfort of security, familiarity with positive law enforcement, professional intercession for educators and piece of mind for parents. Face it, we opt for home security systems with yard signs thereof, in essence, to “suggest” criminals go elsewhere to ply their trade, why not do the same for our most precious commodity? Private security guards are not an alternative and a waste of time and money. The millions spent on door locks, hardened glass and intercoms was a joke considering most of these situations the shooter is already in the school or known to the school. As for the opposition to a gun in school, there are a growing number of parents who, in hindsight, are probably wishing their was one in fully trained hands of a professional SRO. Superintendent Scarice, expand the SRO program now.

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