, Gloucester, MA

March 22, 2013

Hoping for school security answers

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I am writing this letter today to remind everyone that on Wednesday, March 27, the Gloucester School Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing to discuss school security.

Since I signed Amanda Kesterson’s petition for armed guards in our elementary schools, I felt the need to speak up.

I raised three children in the Gloucester school system and have a granddaughter who will be attending in a few short years. The horror of what happened in Newtown has been mind-numbing. I look at the pictures of the children who were lost, and then at my grandchildren. I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for a parent to let their children go to school without being in a constant state of fear.

I support Ms. Kesterson and I would love to see a trained and armed security guard at all of our schools, but I don’t expect it will happen from this meeting. What I do expect is for the 338 individuals who signed the petition to get some concrete answers as to what exactly has the city done to add more security in our schools. Who is responsible for enforcing any plan? Are these steps practiced every day, once a week or are they random? How can we parents and grandparents be assured that any plan is being implemented, if we aren’t able to hold anyone accountable?

I agree with Mr. Bowie when he wrote, “they” work for us. This is why I encourage all of us who signed the petition to “Protect Our Children” to attend this meeting. Bring your ideas, because this is our chance to be heard.

And lastly, I would like to thank Amanda Kesterson for her tenacity. If you hadn’t refused to back down, we wouldn’t be having this opportunity. Thank you.

Linda Corliss

Wheeler Street, Gloucester