Friday, 26 October 2018 14:18

To Be, or Not to Be...Armed

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Tuesday Oct. 9, the Saratoga Springs City School District voted NO, 5-4, to having armed School Resource Officers on the grounds after thirty years with their presence. On Tuesday, Oct. 23, hundreds of students, parents, and faculty filled the Meade Auditorium at the high school to voice their opinions on the vote.

During board of education meetings, the board members will allow for a thirty-minute public hearing where the community can sign up to speak for three minutes. At this meeting, however, the public hearing lasted for two hours.

Kara Rosettie was the first to speak, and she is adamantly opposed to the board’s decision. So, opposed in fact, that she created Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools (SPFSC). SPFSC is “an organization built by parents and community members in the wake of the Oct 9, 2018 decision by the Saratoga Springs Board of Education to remove the historically proven armed security monitors from campus. The organizations goal is to reauthorize the armed grounds monitor program.”

SPFSC held their own 20-minute press conference outside the high school prior to the board meeting where Rosettie, John Neeley, a retired Sergeant Station Commander whocurrentlyworksasaSecurity Consultant, and Joe Moran, a retired Sergeant and former School Resource Officer, spoke to the public.

Once inside the board of education meeting, Superintendent Patton gently reminded those in attendance that the board was there to listen to them and to be respectful of all and to hold back applause.

Rosettie kicked off the public hearing with an impassioned speech about her three boys and their safety.

“My boys and this community are the reason I started Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools,” Rosettie explained.

After explaining that she met with Superintendent Patton

previously about the safety precautions, she said she “left the meeting somewhat relieved, thinking that Saratoga was taking steps to ensure safety, that we were an example for other school district. My comfort was subsequently removed at the last board of education meeting and now I’m standing here, bewildered, at the loss of opportunity at increased safety that has passed our district by.”

Several others followed Rosettie with similar sentiments, including sophomore Meg Messitt, who told the board it takes her “about eleven minutes” to get ready in the morning.

“Those eleven minutes are significant and life changing to me. ButonFebruary14,2018,Margery Stowman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL., those eleven minutes meant the difference between life and death," she continued.

John Neely and Joe Moran also spoke, along with Sean Briscoe, current Lieutenant at Saratoga Springs PD.

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