6 minutes. For some of us, this is the time it takes to shower or to hit the snooze button on our morning alarm. For some it is the wait in line for coffee or the time it takes to scramble an egg. For some, it will be the time it takes to read this article. Most importantly, it is the minimum wait time for emergency response in the event of a school shooting. These precious minutes are something we at Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools have agonized over since late September.
Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools wholeheartedly believes the solution to school violence is multifaceted. We support a comprehensive approach to school safety, which includes mental health counseling and services, family support on a multitude of levels and additional soft measures that increase safety in an educational learning environment. SPSS, in conjunction with other professional organizations such as National Association of School Resource Officers, are in support of train, armed personnel on our school campuses. It is the 6 crucial minutes referenced above that prompts this support. It is essential that we have the proper protection in place to mitigate response time in the event of an emergency. This can only happen when we place armed protection on our campuses.
At this time we are asking the Saratoga Springs City School District to place at least one SRO in each district elementary school and 2 within the High School and Maple Avenue Middle School. To not have armed protection within each building is a gross inequality that should not exist within our school system. Additionally, Officers such as LT. Briscoe need to be allowed to work security and carry concealed while working. We are fortunate to have the expertise of NASRO and would urge the District to take full advantage of the SSO training for retired police officers. These SSOs are an invaluable line of defense and work alongside SROs in making schools safe nationwide. Further, we would like to see Saratoga adopt an 8 point plan similar to that put in place after The Parkland Tragedy. More information on the plan can be found at americansforclass.org Like the 6 minutes mentioned above, time is of the essence. Every day that our children are at school unprotected is a day in which the Saratoga Springs City School district is operating with careless negligence. We all want to believe that this couldn’t possibly happen in our community, but the sad reality is that we have no guarantees that it will not. What we can have however, is preparedness, shorter emergency response times and the assurance that if a tragedy were to befall is, the protection we seek would be readily available on our campuses. As taxpayers and parents we demand this. More importantly, our children deserve it.