Opinion

Are our schools safe?

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — I recently spent a morning at SeDoMoCha visiting elementary classrooms. I observed children being nurtured by exceptional teachers and learning in an emotional safe environment. I thought to myself how could anyone harm these innocent children, yet all we have to do is watch the news. Once we might have declared it could never happen here in rural Maine but no longer can we make such assumptions. I inquired from staff about the physical security of the school and was assured that state of the art technology was employed with three dozen cameras monitoring security. Electronic locks control the entrance to the school. An immediate response communication system to inform law enforcement is operational. The staff is trained to take evasive action assisted by the electronic door locking system.

Last week, as one of 10 members of the Legislature on an advisory committee for school safety, we were briefed by a retired member of the Maine State Police on school safety. He outlined the key physical safety components to protect our schools and SeDoMoCha met every criteria, however, he reminded us that our best security is “if you see something – say something”.

While the political debate rages at the state and national level it is imperative that the Legislature provide funding to ensure all children in Maine have the security present at SeDoMoCha. To do less should weigh on our conscience.

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