By Maddy Albert
The tragedy at Sandy Hook left everyone numb. After the immediate shock, the Briarcliff Manor Board of Education recognized the need to address security in our schools. Of course, Superintendent Neal Miller realizes that the safety of the students is the first priority, so some precautions have been taken to insure this. The decision to lock the Todd School building at all times, the constant manning of the security booths, and the police presence at the schools for the days after the incident lifted some weight off the shoulders of wary parents and students. Christina Arroyo, a Briarcliff High School freshman, confirms the reassurance the police officers gave the students, “We all knew why they were there. It was probably comforting to many people.”
Assemblies were also held to address the incident and the new safety precautions. It was made clear that safety is not something to brush aside and that the teachers and staff put the safety of their students ahead of anything else. Students also confirmed that if they were not in denial that such a thing could have happened, the intensity of this tragedy was overwhelming. Teachers were available personally as well if students had any concerns.
“We have security cameras throughout the building, outside the building … in the security booth in the high school we can keep an eye on the whole school all day long,” said Security Supervisor Bo. “We may be getting another security person for the middle school … we’ll be able to have someone outside the building the whole day.”
Briarcliff’s decision to increase the security proceeded as expected. Although the initial panic regarding the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary has died down, our eyes have been opened to the necessities of safety precautions as well as the need for everyday assurance. Students can keep the feelings of a safe and caring community by trusting each other to make the school environment safe, welcoming, and supportive.