Bangor Students Greeted By Police Officers On First School Day After Sandy Hook
Three days after the massacre in Newtown, CT where 26 people, including 20 children, were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School, students in Bangor were greeted by police officers as they returned to school.”Just today, in light of the events last Friday and over the weekend and people still feeling the effects of this,” said Sgt. Paul Edwards of the Bangor Police Department.The officers were there by request of Bangor’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Betsy Webb. She said, for the most part, parents and children were relieved to see this extra police presence.Webb said, “We want children to feel safe and that this is the place where they have teachers and administrators and their police department in the community all wanting them to be safe and to focus on learning.”Webb had spoken to teachers over the weekend about how to handle students’ questions about the massacre. Guidance counselors and social workers were also prepared to assist students who needed extra support dealing with the tragedy.”In horrible situations like this, there are no perfect answers, there are no perfect plans. It just requires people to work together,” said Webb.Educators and police officers want parents to remember schools are safe.”I was a school resource officer. I know how seriously they take school security. I believe the school is one of the safest places you could ever be at,” said Sgt. Edwards.Coincidentally, the Bangor Police Department is training this week in a scenario involving an active shooter in a school setting.Maine’s Education Commissioner is asking school districts throughout the state to review their emergency response plans.Webb said Bangor schools practice their plans throughout the year, but she will be looking them over to make sure schools are doing everything they can to keep their students safe.