School Safety Summit

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

October 10, 2006

President Bush held a conference Tuesday to push new efforts to promote school safety.

The Charlottesville Newsplex spoke with school officials in Charlottesville to get their idea of what can be done.

The ideas could be categorized more or less as a perspective. Educators with Charlottesville City Schools say safety starts on the local level, and the best way to stay safe is to be alert.

"If for example, they hear somebody threatening a school, or that kind of thing. It should be reported to an authority right away, so that we can take action," said W.T Lewis of Charlottesville City Schools.

W.T. Lewis with Charlottesville City Schools believes not only students should be alert, but parents and teachers as well by "...knowing where our children are as a parents, and what activities they may, or may not be involved in," added Lewis.

Lewis feels the combination of all those elements will help keep a student, and their school safe. Lewis shares ideas on the local level, but on the national level it was many others during a school safety summit.

"It is what our parents taught us, and it is what we need to teach our kids," said a woman attending the conference in Washington, D.C.

President Bush called experts together in Maryland to respond to three deadly shootings.

The White House-led panel agreed one way to end school violence is to have parents, teachers, students, and police work together.

Lewis knows not every idea will work.

"You can't make the school a fortress because that will take away from our whole way of life, but there are technological advances a school can use," explained Lewis.

Some schools in our area have those advances in place, but just like airports something can get by them. The small chance of something happening means everyone can do their part as Lewis suggested, and that is to be more alert now before it is too late.

Still, Lewis understands like most people, even if someone notices something odd about another person, anything can still happen. He wants to remind all parents that kids are always safe inside a school. No one should go to a school during an emergency to pick up a child because the distraction of finding one student can be worse than anything else going on at the time.

The same thing applies for parents during a weather emergency, such as a tornado, or hurricane.


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