School Safety

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Last March, a group of high school seniors in North Conway planned a school walkout after the Parkland shooting.  More than 300 students showed up. But now those seniors have graduated, and summer’s right around the corner.  

The question of how to keep the momentum going was at the forefront of these senior’s minds towards the end of the school year.

Their first step was to put on two voter registration drives in May. Their second was to pass on the leadership to underclassmen.

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A fifth-grade student in New Hampshire who wants to stop bullying has told her school board that she's been threatened to get shot in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle and buried in her backyard.

Delanie Marcotte, of Pollard Elementary School in Plaistow, said she's a victim of bullying. She read a letter before the board last week saying her parents contacted the school about it, but it continues. She asked the board what it would do to protect her and her classmates. Her father shared her comments on Facebook.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Administrators and state officials are again discussing safety in the classroom after another school shooting took place earlier this month. This time in Santa Fe, Texas.

Last week on Morning Edition, Rick Ganley spoke with incoming Somersworth High School Principal John Shea about his thoughts on how the state and Gov. Chris Sununu is responding to school safety issues.

Sean Hurley / NHPR

  Students marched in rallies across the country this past weekend to bring awareness to gun violence and school safety. The "March for Our Lives" rallies were part of a national movement led by students of a high school in Parkland, Fla., where a mass shooting took place last month.

Molly Robert, a senior at Kennett High School in North Conway, spoke with NHPR two weeks ago while students were preparing for the event. She joined Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley today to talk about what's next for student activists here in the Granite State.

 

Hanover High School

Hanover Police Chief Charles B. Dennis announced the arrest of a 14-year-old Canadian girl in connection with a threat posted on Instagram about a shooting at Hanover High School.

Hanover police coordinated with authorities in Brantford, Ontario - south of Toronto - after the location of the social media threat was determined to be in their jurisdiction, police said.

The threats came from an Instagram account titled "hanoverhighschooting."

Jason Moon for NHPR

In Portsmouth, students had planned a walkout for the morning but it was interrupted by the snow storm, which caused a delayed school opening.

But that didn’t keep Portsmouth students from having their message heard.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  Governor Chris Sununu said Wednesday he wants his hand-picked school safety task force to research the effectiveness of arming school employees and if stronger background checks could help prevent gun violence.

The first-term Republican's School Safety Preparedness Task Force met for the first time Wednesday, the same day students across the state walked out of the classroom to honor the 17 people killed in the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Fla.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Students across the country are marking one month since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting left 17 dead. Today, more than a thousand Concord High students stood outside at 10 a.m., the morning after a snowstorm hit the northeast. It was still snowing lightly as students held 17 minutes of silence to commemorate the 17 killed in Parkland and read the names of those lost.

 

Senior Jonathan Weinberg was one of the organizers. He says they purposely chose to hold 17 minutes of silence instead of a focusing on a walkout.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Social studies teacher Rob Nadeau’s journey to the New Hampshire State House began last fall in his Hopkinton Middle High School classroom. While teaching an Intro to Law class, he said he noticed his students were shocked to learn that in New Hampshire, permitted gun owners were allowed to bring their firearms into a school building. 

Attorney General's Office

  The head of a New Hampshire prep school's board of trustees says a teacher who was let go in 2008 for "repeated boundary crossings" involving students should have been dismissed earlier and shouldn't have been given a favorable recommendation.

A letter from Archibald Cox to the St. Paul's School community said Thursday that David Pook's departure was "overdue and badly handled."

The 47-year-old Pook was charged last week with witness tampering and conspiring to commit perjury following a grand jury investigation into misconduct allegations at St. Paul's.

The Manchester School District says a student was arrested last Friday for making threats on social media about school shootings.

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says despite the arrest there was no immediate threat to any students in the district.

This is the third arrest made in connection to school threats in New Hampshire following the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school last month.

NHPR File Photo

Concord Police Lt. Michael Pearl says there are many problems with arming teachers with guns--something the President has suggested--to keep schools safe.

 

Speaking Tuesday on NHPR's The Exchange, he said there are training and liability issues. He also questions how a teacher would react in a critical moment.

 

"I don’t think it’s a viable solution. There are so many other options that we could work toward for prevention and awareness and training, that that’s not part of the equation," Pearl said. 

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu announced the creation Monday of a new school safety task force.

The news comes following the school shooting in Florida and threats of violence at schools here in New Hampshire.

According to a statement from the Governor’s office, the new task force will include representatives from the state, law enforcement, schools, and local governments.

It will spend the next few months developing stronger safety protocols for New Hampshire schools.

 

Reuters

The National Education Association New Hampshire has formed a coalition to look at school gun violence.

 

The union of educators, which has 17,000 members, says the coalition will be made up of educators, first responders, and mental health experts. The plan is to also have input on possible changes to legislation.

 

How School Shootings Are Changing Education

Feb 23, 2018

We look at how school shootings is impacting students, teachers, and school communities, after the shooting in Parkland, FL.

FILE

Many local communities across the U.S. and around the Granite State are reassessing how they handle school threats and school safety and security. This follows a mass shooting at a high school last week in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.

Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Merner has called for a public forum at Portsmouth High School to encourage dialogue between students and faculty. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with him about community response to last week’s tragic events.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Some schools around the state will soon be getting security upgrades as lawmakers Friday approved about $10 million in grants for school safety projects.

The money comes from a surplus in last year’s state budget. It will pay for 170 different projects at schools around the state. Most are security upgrades, like improved locks, alarm systems, or surveillance cameras.

Governor Chris Sununu urged lawmakers to approve the funds at a hearing Friday morning.

peter honeyman via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/a1wRcF

Demanding trigger warnings? Canceling speakers? Shutting down comedians? College students today make the political correctness of the past seem tame. Today we’re asking: is oversensitivity ruining education? We’ll also look at the roots of extreme protectiveness in a nation where police officers are stationed at more and more high schools with a story about what happens when school discipline meets law enforcement. And, a job you may have thought was already obsolete – we’ll learn why the humble stenographer may be one of the most essential – and under-appreciated people in the courtroom. 

School Security: Finding The Right Balance

Apr 16, 2014
SPSOA UNION / Flickr/CC

A recent stabbing incident, which injured more than twenty-students at a Pennsylvania school, has once again reminded us that violence can occur in any district and in any form.  And schools in New Hampshire are taking note, continually adjusting their safety plans.  We’re finding out how this discussion continues to evolve.

GUESTS:

LINKS:

DanMcLean / Flickr Creative Commons

School decisions banning dodge ball and tag have re-ignited a broader debate on whether we are over-protecting kids. We discuss the need for letting go and letting children grow.  But others say the world has changed, and parental involvement is needed today.

GUESTS:

After a lockdown earlier today, Brian Blake, the Superintendent of Schools for the Sanborn Regional School district, posted this message on the Sanborn Regional High School's Facebook page: