Peace of Mind

By Amanda Burtnett, Maddie McGillicuddy, Jess Lepore, and Carly Goroff
EE Staff Writers

Mr. Pijar, the Incident Coordinator, announced a lock down drill at 1:15 pm on January 17, 2013. All teachers locked their doors, turned out the lights, and pulled down the shades in the classroom. Students were expected to move away from the doors and windows and remain quiet.

With the tragedy of the Sandy Hook shooting still looming in the thoughts of Trumbull High School’s students, administration feels it is appropriate to update the security plan at THS in hopes of bringing peace of mind to students, parents, and staff.

After the monumental tragedy that occurred in Newtown, administrators are working hard to address any and all issues. Eagle’s Eye staff spoke to Dr. Tremaglio, gaining some clarification about what additional security measures the school will put in place in response to this unfortunate event.

“All construction workers now have to sign in,” said Dr. Tremaglio. He hopes this will provide the school security with more knowledge about who is in the school at all times. He adds that the best thing to do is to “stack the odds in your favor.” If security is able to know who is in the building at all times, it will aid in the prevention of having strangers in the school.

Dr. Tremaglio also sites that our best resources are the 2,000 plus pairs of eyes around campus and restates the phrase we have all became familiar with since 9/11. “If you see something, say something.”

Dr. Tremaglio also wants to take a more technologically advanced approach by installing a system that involves students scanning a personalized bar code to unlock the doors to the school. Although these changes would definitely take some time to configure and install, they are slated for future safety projects.

When discussing school safety, guns are not the only problem. Dr. Tremaglio feels strongly that there are also some issues with the mental health system in our nation.

“The government needs to take a more proactive approach to mental disability.” The THS principal added that it is important to remember that the shooter had serious mental instability and was clearly not getting the medical attention he required.

Some schools have considered the need to arm their staff but Dr. Tremaglio speaks from personal experience when he says this is not a good idea. “It creates a false sense of security.” Early on in his career as an educator, Dr. Tremaglio was assaulted by a student and as he recalls the scenario. He remembers just how he felt in that moment.

“When my adrenaline kicked in, I could not control my entire body and I just felt a blind rage.” He uses this experience as a reason to not put guns in the classrooms because he believes anyone placed in a situation with that much intensity would not know how to protect themselves or others.

As for another perspective on the security at Trumbull High school, THS student, Christina Beliard discussed the emergency situation drill she practiced during French class on the day following the Newtown SHES shooting. As a start, Beliard’s teacher first cleaned out all of the cabinets and closets and made every student hide in one. While some teachers take the time to initiate drills within their classroom on their own, the school also conducts emergency drills in order to fully prepare students for any crisis that may occur.

Nothing can fully bandage the tragedy at Newtown, but Trumbull High is trying. These new safety measures will help members of the THS community feel safe and comfortable at school. Let’s not forget the lives lost and in their memory, create positive changes for all.

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