To the editor:
Re: "VSB to consider locking school doors," Feb. 6.
I attended the VSB committee meeting on Feb. 4. One of my concerns is school safety. Trustee Denike presented related motion as follows, "In order to provide a safe environment for students, the Vancouver Board of Education examine restricting entrance to schools to a main entrance with egress accessible at currently used doorways, and providing school staff with direct communication links to emergency services." I was glad to hear safety issue discussed at the board, because I have been concerned about this for a couple of years.
Unfortunately, this motion was not properly addressed. Instead, Trustee Lombardi moved an amendment and the board spent 15 to 20 minutes to debate on this issue. The amendment stated there is no need to do extra security work in our schools since we have an excellent safety record, that we have to make sure we base our policies on facts and research not on the U.S. incident.
Is one Sandy Hook tragedy not enough to make us alarmed? Excellent records shouldn't prevent us from doing something better. The least the VSB could do is to prevent intruders through better security system in schools. We do not ask for setting up armed guards and armed camps, we simply ask to lock all doors except the door to the main entrance and for all visitors to report to the office.
Leaving doors unlocked is not a signal of welcome and free of fear. A safe environment makes a school welcome and free of fear.
Jingyun He, Vancouver