Allentown
50° F
Overcast
Overcast

Stroudsburg Area School District superintendent holds meeting to ease fears of parents

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 19 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 20 2012 04:41:00 AM CST

Schools talk to parents about safety measures

STROUDSBURG, Pa. -

Are the schools in our district safe?   Area superintendents say a lot of parents are asking that question since the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

In Stroudsburg, there was a meeting Wednesday night to answer that question with a resounding yes.

While Superintendent John Toleno did say the schools in the district are safe, he also tells parents there is room for improvement and now is not the time for the district to let its guard down.

"We're in a different world," said Toleno.  "It's a different time."

That is why Toleno is speaking with parents.  There is some concern.

"We've got three children in the school district," said Joseph Barro, a concerned parent.  "It's a shame what happened in Newtown and hopefully they are taking the right steps to make sure that doesn't happen over here."

In a way the meeting eased the concerns without giving away too much information on how the school district is keeping children safe.

"For that I apologize, part of me apologizes, but the other part of me says you can't have it," added Toleno.  "Those are our little secrets here in Stroudsburg and that's the way it has to be."

Parents learned facts like these: the school district does have video surveillance in the buildings, the only way to get in the schools is by one entrance, and each visitor must be buzzed in.

Also, since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been a police officer at every school -- something Toleno would love to see be permanent.

"I'm going to tell you something I've said since I started my career in education a long time ago," said Toleno. "There should be a police officer in every building."

"They thought they were safe and I feel we're safe here," said Joe Orsargos, another concerned parent.  "I don't feel there is an issue, but there is always room for improvement in anything we are out there doing."

Many leaving the building say they feel better.

"He explained a lot of the security that they have," said Nazneen Malik, who has a brother in the Stroudsburg Area School District.

But they still know everyone must be vigilant when it comes to safety in schools.

"Anything can happen anywhere, but I think they are doing the best they can," said another woman attending the meeting.

The superintendent also gave parents information on how to talk to their children about what took place in Newtown.