School safety in the spotlight

Posted at: 01/18/2013 6:36 PM
By: Lily Jamali

GLOVERSVILLE - Staff, teachers and administrators from school districts Gloversville, Wheelerville, and Johnstown attended a school safety training Friday. The training was organized in response to the incident in Newtown, Connecticut.

The massacre happened a month ago, but the possibility of a similar situation at her school is one that Gloversville High School teacher Rachel Dailey can't shake.

"I do think about it. I think about what would i do to protect my kids," Dailey said.

"What struck me was exactly how detailed this was," said Special Needs teacher Chris Purcell, who added that she was surprised by the amount of detail provided in the guidance they were given.

"Step 1: moving students away from windows. Step 2: make sure they don't take out cell phones. Step 3: keeping them quiet," Purcell explained.

The training offered a chance for dialogue between school staff and law enforcement. For many here, strengthening that relationship has taken on greater urgency after Newtown, where the school district did many things right, but still saw things go so wrong.

"One of the things we can do better is to be aware... not to be afraid to step up when something doesn't look ordinary," said Michael Vanyo, Superintendent of the Gloversville Enlarged School District.