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Parents Want Police Presence In Schools

Parents told administrators that they want a school resource officer reassigned to patrol schools.

About 50 people, most parents, gathered in the Tiverton High School library for a two-hour meeting on safety in schools.

Administrators answered questions and described emergency plans and protocols, but the majority of discussion focused on what measures schools could take now to offer additional precautions.

"After what happened [in Newtown, CT] on Friday, are we reacting to that? We are," said Supt. William Rearick. "We are fine tuning what we do in Tiverton, in the state and across the country. We are refining what we do and making it better."

Rearick commended Tiverton's school community for its handling of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Rearick met with faculty, guidance counselors, emergency responders and psychologists on Monday to ensure all appropriate safety precautions were in effect.

"Our teachers were very shaken and they came to work to do what they get paid to do which is teach our students and I am very proud of them and the students because that was an attack on another school and the message was very personal to them. This was not Aurora, this was not Virginia Tech, this was an elementary school."

Thursday's meeting came just seven hours after an unsubstantiated bomb threat at Tiverton High School caused students and faculty to evacuate and canceled school for the day. 

"Fall River, with 16 schools has one in every school, and I know that everything is budget, budget, budget, but I would feel so much safer with a police officer in our schools," said Kelly, a mother two children in public schools.

Councilman James Arruda, a former teacher, supported the idea of instituting a full-time school resource officer position, calling the coupling of schools and police "a  highway of communication between the police department and our schools."

"As a Town Councilor, my second point is budget issues," Arruda added. "There has been a lot of discussion across the country, do we bullet proof glass - which would probably cost in the millions of dollars? We need a cost effective was to make our schools safer and an officer might be the best way to do that."

Police Chief Thomas Blakey told parents we would get a school resource officer on property in the near future for the rest of the year - a venture he estimated would cost $100,000. 

Other suggestions by parents were to install bullet proof glass on school windows and that the administration inform parents about the district's crisis management plan and preparation.

"I don't want anything taken off of the table," said Deborah Pallasch, committeewoman. "We will have a financial discussion, but tonight is about what do we need to do."

Thursday's meeting was purely an informational stepping stone toward creating a safer environment for Tiverton students.

"Send your children to school," said Capt. Patrick Jones. "School is a safe place and you are here tonight to make it safer."

Joe Sousa. December 26, 2012 at 08:46 PM
To defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We are allowed to hunt and defend our selves from all enemies . That means crooks and murderers.
Naome Lixes December 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
"We are allowed to hunt and defend our selves from all enemies . That means crooks and murderers." Most of whom happen to be in our own neighborhoods. You fail at America, Joe.
Ken December 27, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Joe responding to her is just what she wants you to do. Im one of my posts to her I said that she couldnt be that stupid, I hope. But she has proven me wrong again. Please do not respond to her. She gets her fun saying thing just to get a response from you. My guess is that she either has never been married or if she has she has been divorced atleast once. This is her entertainment. Dont feed into her.
Naome Lixes December 27, 2012 at 03:55 AM
"She gets her fun saying thing just to get a response from you." Nope, people that share my point of view sat on the sidelines while this know-nothing retread of a Tea Party dragged the country down. You won't get any more free passes, Ken. It's a public forum, you're free to express you misconceptions, I'm free to point out your inaccuracies. "My guess is that she either has never been married..." Nope. "..or if she has she has been divorced atleast once." Three strikes. I've never even confirmed my gender. "This is her entertainment. Dont feed into her." Joe is why I got onto the Patch in the first place. Do yourself a favor, Ken. Google Oranuch B. Sousa
b kcaj December 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Joe Sousa said: "That means crooks and murderers." For once Joe, you spoke the truth-how ironic.

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