The mother of a Nazareth area kindergartner urged the school board Monday night not to create an atmosphere of “fear mongering” that she says is happening in schools around the country in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre.
Reading from a prepared statement, Joselyn Burrows cited action elsewhere taken against children for having a toy gun in school or for drawing a picture of a gun while in school.
She said schools are “traumatizing” children by taking such actions.
”I’m not expecting you to call police on a 5-year-old,” she said, adding that Nazareth schools are not taking such actions.
Burrows also said she is in favor of having security guards or off-duty police officers being armed in school. And she called on the Nazareth district to establish “realistic safety limits.”
Her statement drew a smattering of applause in the board room, which was crowded with students, parents and teachers.
Speaking outside the board room, she said she wants “to make sure fear-mongering doesn’t happen here.” And she promised that parents like her wouldn’t allow it.
She also said the Nazareth district “should continue to counsel students as they have historically.”
After she read her statement, board member Maurice Heller stood at his seat, saying he agreed with her and pointing out the district has anti-bullying procedures and that Shafer Elementary School was one of the first schools in the area to establish emergency procedures using a color-coded method.
But Heller also criticized children’s exposure to violence on television and violent video games.
”We have a violent society,” he said.
Board president Lorin Bradley told Burrows that school safety is a subject the board takes very seriously and that the board will continue to review the district’s safety policies.