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Croton School Officials to Take Advocacy Role in Wake of Sandy Hook Tragedy

The Croton-Harmon school district vowed to advocate for issues pertaining to school safety, gun control and mental health on behalf of the community.

The changes made in Croton-Harmon schools after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. have been evident during the course of the past few weeks.

But district officials are hopeful those changes extend past the community.

During the Jan. 3 school board president, board President Andrea Furey read a statement from the board regarding tragedy in which the board vowed to address the issues of gun control and adequate mental healthcare.

“We vow that we will do all that we can as your representatives to forge a new direction for our nation, a direction in which our children and residents are safer,” Furey said. “We do know that to accomplish these goals, we must educate ourselves and forge alliances.”

Terri Lukin, a member of the school board, noted that it only took one grieving mother to create Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“It just struck me that if we, as school boards, throughout the state, the country could all act together in solidarity, we could make a change like that,” Lukin said.

Lukin said she has reached out to the New York and Connecticut school board associations to come up with some sort of resolution that districts could agree on. Lukin suggested that the district post the call for action released by the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents on its Web site.

Edward Fuhrman, superintendent of Croton-Harmon schools, cautioned school boards from using it until they have a look at the document and are sure they agree with it.

Fuhrman also said that the school district has begun a security audit of the districts buildings. The Altaris Consulting Group is the firm conducting the audit.

During the audit, Altaris will look at weaknesses in the district’s safety plans. The firm will also help the district develop documents like an ‘active shooter protocol,’ unification areas for families, and command posts in the event of a tragedy.

The school district will also work with local government and public safety agencies to help coordinate a local emergency plan.

Fuhrman said the district has always been aware of its soft spots in the districts security.

“What Newtown did is bring to the attention of everyone that the vulnerability exists,” Fuhrman said.

Fuhrman also said that the district will make it a priority to complete tabletop disaster drills for each building in the district as well reviews to lockdowns, early dismissals and evacuations.

"We have a lot of work to do," Fuhrman said. "Are we up to the challenge? Yes, because the reality is everyone of these children...it's as if you're our kid."

Lisa Buchman (Editor) January 09, 2013 at 04:40 PM
The results of the audit will be interesting to hear about. What do folks think about these proposed plans?
Johnny Girolamo January 09, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Why not reach out to Croton PD for a safety audit? They will be the ones responding to any incidents.

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