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Newtown School Shootings Addressed at East Meadow BOE Meeting

Superintendent assures parents that the safety of students is the district's number one concern.

The tragic shooting deaths of 26 children and adults on Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. was the driving force behind an East Meadow Board of Education meeting on Thursday night.

The inicident caused East Meadow parents a great deal of concern for the safety of their own children and Superintendent Louis DeAngelo addressed these concerns at the board meeting.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School community,” he said. “Upon hearing of this tragedy, we were in immediate contact with of our building principals on how this matter should be addressed with our children, and to reiterate our own safety practices and procedures."

He continued:

"Please be assured that this district has very detailed procedures in place to safeguard our children and staff. As a district, we will continue to be involved in an in-depth review of our procedures and practices in order to be sure that every precaution is in place.”

DeAngelo also spoke on rumors concerning possible East Meadow school safety issues being spread throughout social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, which had reached a fever pitch in the week following the Newtown shootings.

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“Please be assured that rumors of any kind, or any threat, are taken seriously and investigated diligently,” he said. “Unfortunately, in this age of social media, rumors can spread instantaneously through an entire community. Our building principals will continue to address the students on the appropriate handling of rumors and the effects of instantaneous transmission of rumors and misinformation.”

During the public comments section, DeAngelo defended his decision not to address the Newtown shootings until the following Monday, saying that the decision to do so was a well thought-out effort that was done in the best interests of the children of the district. He also reiterated to parents the fact that the district has strict safety measures in place, but declined to give details for fear of compromising their effectiveness.

In other news, Board Vice President Walter Skinner provided an update on the progress of the Board of Education in determining next year’s budget, a process sure to be difficult in light of New York State’s dwindling financial aid and a new mandatory 2 percent tax cap.

“Our 2013-2014 budget process is underway,” he said. “The board will certainly keep the community informed and will seek community input prior to its adoption in March.”

The meeting also included holiday performances of several of the district’s student musical programs, including the Bowling Green Elementary School Choir, the Woodland Middle School String Ensemble, the East Meadow High School Hand Bell Choir and the East Meadow High School Steel Drum Band. All performed renditions of classic holiday musical numbers, much to the delight of the many parents in the audience.

The next meeting of the East Meadow Board of Education is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Brent M. December 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM
They still havent said what changes are going to take place, for each individual school.. and HOW they are going to notify the parents of these changes? Are they going to speak of these changes only at the Board meetings? .. ton of questions.. alot of .. "we are going to.. ".. but no fine print.. no immediate changes and thats a dangerous card to play in my opinion
paul December 22, 2012 at 02:56 AM
I think the article spells out clearly that the safety of all the children and the employees are a prime concern.. Perhaps at the BOE meeting they should have said that the parents/ legal guardians also need to take responsibility in their childs lives so as to know what they are doing behind there backs at all time. Perhaps knowing what they do online, and what they watch on TV and what video games they enjoy.. etc.... OK I said it...
marianne krause December 22, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Please be assured that rumors of any kind, or any threat, are taken seriously and investigated diligently this is a joke, when my son was in woodland middled school he was threatened by another stuxdent on the bus, this sztudent had a box cutter, nikt only were we not informed by the school but whedn my husband and i confronted the school about it and demandexd the police be called when they showed up the police told us that the school district and the police would handle it nothing was done to the student NOTHING!
Brent M. December 23, 2012 at 01:48 AM
PERHAPS also at the meeting, the ELECTED BOE should also state exactly what they do , in case , if a threat happens here.. do they have "code" word they put over loud speaker? .. Where do they hide, place kids..? BC I can assure you .. the parents have taken steps to "test" the security of the school and have consulted legally with attorneys and I think the school board is NOT going to be happy with the findings.. the CAMERA and RECORDING devices can be a POWERFUL things.. THERE PAUL.>>>> I SAID IT!!!
robert December 23, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Isn't it so sad that there has to be a discussion on how to protect our kids from, not a foreign war but from lunitics that live in our country.
paul December 23, 2012 at 02:39 AM
To Brent M: Code words? Hide kids? Place kids? Attorneys? You are what I consider a loose cannon...... Where do you think you live back in the 1950's. Shelter drills, hiding under desks. (It may be a possibility) Good call your attorneys and tell them they too are monetary leaches..... You all want to blame school procedures for a wackadoodle. They are all around and the BOE will work accordingly with experts and the local police.. Parents too need to take some of the blame when something goes wrong. You can bank on that...
paul December 23, 2012 at 02:39 AM
You are on the money...
Brent M. December 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM
sorry Paul.. you are what us in law enforcement consider an uniformed civilian that has no clue how to tactically handle an active shooter scenerio.. and yeah if I am thinking about the safety of kids and the basic precautions needed to protect their lives when I drop them at school.. then yeah consider me a loose canon. .but if you think I am a loose canon, then there is alot of parents in this town that must be loose cannons... its sad that we have to think this way now but its reality..
Bill Alderman December 23, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I think the issue here is that the parents are scared and that the school personel has the best interests and safety of the kids and staff in mind always. And that the lack of sharing the specifics seem to be to some a point of contention. However, please keep in mind that the plan needs to be kept secret and constantly updated and changed to work best. Once the general public knows the exact safety proceedures then it is no longer very safe. Over the years the schools and staff have been hyper vigilant and I say we let them and the Board do what do.
Brent M. December 24, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Bill , I agree.. I am not asking for specifics..but I am asking if there is a plan in place.. bc to me there doesnt appear to be so.. and alot of parents are thinking our district is playing the "it wont happen here card"... and yet, one thing I did notice is , at one School, during AFTER school activites, the only way you can enter is through front door which is now locked and can be opened by a school custodian!! I applaud that! HOWEVER< at another school.. ANYONE enter through back or front, nobody stops you .. nobody is checking if you are wandering the school.. so basically anyone can enter and have free reign... ?? Why is one school putting new security measures in place yet another one is basically leaving the school WIDE OPEN?? The INCONSISTANTCY can not happen when we are paying over $10k a year in taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bill Alderman December 26, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Brent I truly understand your concern. And the truth is that you should have a meeting with the principal of that second school if that is really the case. But keep in mind that no one is taking the attitude of "Won't happen here" and new security measures are being put in place in each school in our district. That there is a plan in place to put more cameras and monitors on and in the buildings. That security measures have tightened and will tighten even more. It is just that if you have a specific concern , the Principal of that individual school is the one to speak with. I know from experience that that is the first/ best step to take.
paul December 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Yes Brent you are a loose cannon. When one refers to the taxes they pay they immediately think they are owed something additional above and beyond what they have paid in tax dollars...
paul December 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM
To Brent M: You stated- "you are what us in law enforcement consider an uniformed civilian that has no clue how to tactically handle an active shooter scenerio".... what us in law enforcement ???? ROTFLMAO and if you tell me you are a federal agent you are definitely a loose cannon... You are a funny man. Someone people should be scared of... Sounds like you sit outside your house with a shotgun saying "Go ahead make my day"
Brent M. December 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM
@paul.. oh I am sorry that I shouldnt be complaining about the high taxes ?? Is that what your saying? and when did I say i was OWED something.. I am concerned for the safety of our children.. and yeah like i said if as a law enforcement officer, I am a loose canon so be it.. this loose canon will do everything in his power to protect our kids at school.. @Bill.. I know for a fact from a teacher in the schools that they were told NOT to talk about Newtown unless somebody asks about it.. there was no moment of silence.. it was just "dont ask dont tell".. that is NOT right
paul December 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM
To Brent M: Sounds like you thrive on third and fourth hand information. The facts man, just the facts... You really know less than I thought.... Which prior statment that you used is correct??? hmmm "you are what us in law enforcement consider" or "yeah like i said if as a law enforcement officer"
Brent M. December 27, 2012 at 05:12 PM
@Paul.. hey you can call me all you want.. think what you want. fact of matter is this.. Im all about safety of the kids and there is alot of us parents who have experience and knowledge of active shooter scenerios and god forbid push came to shove.. we are going to assist and be on sight putting our lives first without hesitation... you want to match skills, knowledge and experience then be my guest . I can sleep well at night knowing I am doing and working with other parents to make sure our schools are safe.

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