Brewster Schools Examining Security After Sandy Hook Tragedy

Officials said the incident seemed to be affecting some high schoolers, who appeared "somber and serious," Monday morning.

Administrators with the Brewster Central Schools are slated to gather Monday afternoon to discuss possible changes in security following the school shooting that left more than two dozen dead in Sandy Hook Friday.

The meeting is intended to be a "debriefing" of sorts for principals and other administrators who are expected to share thoughts on beefing up safety procedures. Officials said they would release specifics on any changes once they are available, as the discussion will be an "ongoing" one.

"We're in listening mode now, we're taking it all in," Board of Education President Dr. Steven Jambor said Monday morning.

Jambor, along with Deputy Superintendent Tim Conway and Superintendent Dr. Jane Sandbank, visited each of the district's four buildings Monday morning to get a sense of the mood amongst faculty, staff and students.

"At JFK, you couldnt tell anything was different," Jambor said, adding that the energy there—from the district's youngest students—was "good." 

Things were a bit different at the high school, where some of the kids were "serious and somber."

"They're figuring out ways to appropriately respond and show support," Jambor said.

Teachers were prepared to deal with those feelings, as principals met with instructors early Monday morning and "laid out the game plan," Jambor, a psychologist, told Patch. Part of the plan was remembering that "there is no perfect response" when students ask about the tragedy.

"Your best approach is to show them that business is carrying on," he said, adding that teachers were aware of other age-appropriate responses for kids who may have been feeling some anxiety. 

That anxiety is something school officials are aware of. They took it into consideration when giving the OK for the school resource officer (SRO), a deputy with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office who is usually stationed at the high school, to spend some time at JFK Monday.

"Children in buildlings that don't have an SRO could start to wonder," he said. "We're walking a fine line between trying to be proactive and alarming."

sheri December 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM
What is fear Ann? I have a first grader. And if there were an armed officer (NO ONE MENTIONED A GUARD) in the school, this wouldnt have happened becasue THEY ARE TRAINED to handle this. Your uneducated and misinformed. And if the notion of protecting yourself and your family "scares" you, I truly feel sorry for you. Maybe grow a spine and a thicker skin. By the way - you havent suggested anything. Any ideas? Right. Didnt think so.
Joe Beahm December 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM
While I agree security needs to be tightened up in the schools, that is in no way going to fix the problem. Take a step back and think for a second. If someone was that motivated and filled with that much passion for murder, regardless of the motive, you think a buzzer system or metal detectors is going to stop him? What if the next school shooting is by a student in the school? Have every kid walk through security, in the morning when they walk through the doors? Have bomb squads check all cars parked in the lots? When will it end? Look at the frightening numbers of how many students are victims of acts of violence in public schools every day. What needs to be fixed is not security but it's how children are brought up today. They need to be taught non-violence. Kids just being kids is not an excuse for bullying. Teach your children to stand up for their classmates if they are being bullied and who knows, you may have stopped a suicide or future school shooting...
sheri December 19, 2012 at 04:13 PM
But Joe - you dont just wake up one day and decide to go on a rampage. This is someone who has mental issues. The issue is much bigger.
Joe Beahm December 19, 2012 at 04:33 PM
My point exactly - the issue is much much larger than security in the schools. Look at those effected by bullying and the correlation between those who have developed mental illnesses because of it. Perhaps this wasn't from bullying and he developed his rage from repressed thoughts or feelings he developed somewhere. How about fixing how we treat those with mental handicaps and the care we give them. We don't know what his motive was but what we can do is figure out how to teach children non-violent courses of action. Teach them that there is nothing to be ashamed of to seek help for any illness - mental or physical.
Ann Fanizzi December 19, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Your lashing out is evidence of how scared you are and understandable since you are a mom and the last place you would think your child would be in danger is school. But you are lashing out at a 30-year educator, early childhood administrator and special ed supervisor and intermediate school administrator who worked in the worse times and areas of crime and drugs in the city. So what did we do? What the good schools in Brewster are doing: shoring up their security plan; adding locked down drills to fire drills; locking doors after 9; making sure communication systems throughout the school are working; keeping close communication with police forces; and making every teacher a guard by maintaining alertness as to who is in the school and reporting suspicious behavior. Since it is an elementary school, the presence of guards with guns or teachers with guns would unhinge some students and inject emotional insecurity scarring some children forever. And Sheri, I would make certain that my home is violence-free - remove the video games, television programs and movies that glorify guns and violence. And lastly, sign Mayor Bloomberg's petition to end gun violence, ban forever assault rifles and the ammo that goes with it. It is online. And then pray.,


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