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Administrators meet with students

Nick Lolis

Nick Lolis

Natalie Bandura, Staff Writer

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BMS administrators circled around all pods to discuss the issue of keeping the school protected in case of threats or gun violence on Feb. 28.

The meeting came a day after Staples went into ¨shelter in place,¨ and were then dismissed early at 1:15 p.m. 

The purpose of these conversations was, according to Dr. Rosen, to tell students what happened at Staples, and remind students of the safety features at BMS and the role they play in keeping each other safe.

Pullquote Photo

¨We have numerous things here at BMS to keep us all safe and secure.””

— Principal Dr. Adam Rosen.

He detailed how on all ground level windows and doors, there is a transparent protective film that prevents anyone from breaking the windows and getting in. All external doors are locked all day long. The only way to get in is to pass through two locked doors by checking in at the main office. There is a lockdown system in place that alerts the entire town, including the police department. We do not carry backpacks in this school as a security measure. When outdoors, your teachers carry walkie-talkies, and are constantly watching the environment.

Additionally, an important aspect of the discussion was to let the students know what part they can play in keeping the school community safe.

¨You have the power and responsibility to keep each other safe,¨ said Mrs. Denise Emmerthal, assistant vice-principal. She proceeded to go over numerous safety precautions that students should take every day, such as closing any open doors in the building, not letting people inside the school who have not gone through the main office, and reporting anything that causes worry to a parent or administrator.

¨Always be sensitive and don’t cause upset to people around you. If someone is isolated, reach out to them. If you see someone who is feeling angry or sad, share it with an adult,¨ Mrs. Emmerthal said.

The administrators then gave students the opportunity to ask questions. The issue of arming teachers was one commonly brought up by students.

Dr. Rosen expressed opposition to this proposal. ¨There is no attempt or plan whatsoever to bring guns into this school. It is not supported by our administration, or by me,¨ he said.

He did, however, support a proposal of having a security guard working part time at Bedford, an armed official meant to protect school security.

Eighth grade students experienced a variety of reactions to the meeting, and according to interviews most were comforted by the safety precautions that were discussed.

¨The one thing I took from the meeting is that we should feel safe at Bedford because of the various security measures to protect us,¨ said Maxwell Tanksley.

¨I think it’s smart to have a security guard. If there’s any situation, we would have someone who would protect us, and the school seems safer if that person is an armed and trained police officer,¨ said George Engels.

But Johann Kobetitsch disagreed. ¨I feel like they’re right to get more security for the building, but are they pushing it too far? If you have guns in school, you´re taking a friendly environment and making it unsafe,¨ he said.

But some students didn’t feel reassured by this discussion and felt that there was a lot more that needed to be reviewed before the school was  fully prepared in the case of an emergency.

¨A lot of it was more about what we already have than actual safety and procedures. The distance between Bedford and Staples doesn’t guarantee security,¨ said Elena Lim, a student at Bedford.

Conversations about the issue of Bedford safety expanded beyond the morning meeting. Some teachers discussed with their students what their job is in keeping the school secure.

¨If you hear or see something that is out of the ordinary, you need to tell someone about it. In this day and age, all you need to do is say to one of us, ´This feels weird to me.´ The best line of defense is always going to be the community,¨ Ms. Alexandra McHale, a language arts teacher in the 8th grade green pod, told her class.

Dr. Rosen also emphasized the need for students to collaborate with the administration in protecting Bedford´s safety. ¨The best possible security is when the entire community takes care of one another. We alone cannot do this. We need you to partner with us. That is how we keep each other safe,¨ said Dr. Rosen.

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Administrators meet with students”

  1. Curtis Sullivan on March 6th, 2018 8:38 am

    I love how you went into detail and showed all the security measures, then you went beyond that and showed ideas and opinions for further school safety.

    [Reply]

  2. Andy on March 6th, 2018 10:40 am

    This article was phrased perfectly and well spoken very informative.

    [Reply]

  3. Molly on March 6th, 2018 10:49 am

    I really liked how you added lots of quotes to make your point more clear. Also, I liked how you were not biased to one side, and you had opinions from all different angles of the argument. The last thing that I liked about your article is that you ended with a quote. I agree with Maxwell Tanksley, because after the talk with the administrators, I safer and more protected.

    [Reply]

  4. Katharine Frank on March 6th, 2018 10:49 am

    I liked how you described a lot about what happened and what might happen. I also like how you added the dates to make the article more specific, you also added quotes to make it more clear. I wonder how all the teaches are going to get guns, and how will they know how to use it? Also I wonder if the teachers have guns will that really help the children, and will the teacher really use the guns or will they just have them? I don’t think they should give teachers guns because of what happens everywhere, and the teachers will have to take time out of there day to learn how to use guns. I think you should add more on what they might do instead of what they did do.

    [Reply]

  5. Maggie on March 6th, 2018 11:11 am

    ( Sorry if this is too long) URSUS said that the school wants to hire a security guard but I thought we already had a security guard at Bedford! You know, the guy that always stands outside during drop-off? I honestly don’t think there’s anything this school or any other schools across the world can do to stop this violence. You can’t physically make people stop bullying each other. We don’t know what people are thinking. They might seem like the most popular people in the school but on the inside they really HATE their teachers for giving extra homework or sending them to the principals! And the idea to arm teachers is even more ridiculous! What if a gun is left out right after a real lockdown then some un-aware kindergartner walks over then bang-bang someone’s dead! If you give teachers guns you might as well give every living human a gun too because someone with a gun doesn’t only have to shoot at a school! They can can shoot someone at a restaurant! But anyways, this article was good.

    [Reply]

  6. elle on March 6th, 2018 1:47 pm

    its good to know i am safe, i liked the way that they went over gun and the fact that “If you have guns in school, you´re taking a friendly environment and making it unsafe,¨

    [Reply]

  7. Dania Hemdan on March 6th, 2018 3:40 pm

    I think that this article was necessary to calm frightened kids down and make sure that they undersatnd that they ARE safe.

    [Reply]

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