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Berkshire County Schools React to Conn. Shooting

School superintendents in Western Massachusetts worked in their districts to welcome students back in their first day of school since the deadly attacks at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, and some are calling for a review of school security. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

Superintendent of Pittsfield Public Schools Dr. Gordon Noseworthy said that for students returning to their classes this morning, their first full school day after the events in Newtown, CT; it was another day at school.

Dr. Noseworthy said that the district placed adjustment counselors in the district’s schools, and that teachers had a chance to come together and discuss how to work with any distressed students affected by the tragic events in the neighboring state. He also said that the district worked over the weekend to post information for parents on their website on the crisis, as well as information how parents can communicate to their children about the shooting.

Dr. Noseworthy said that the district meets with the local police and fire departments monthly on discussion of safety issues.

Superintendent Dr. William Cameron of Central Berkshire Regional School District says that his school will be conducting a review of their security procedures with local authorities as a precautionary measure.

Dr. Cameron commented on the reality of the shooting at Sandy Hook, and said that small towns served by the Central Berkshire Regional School District may not be too different from Newtown, CT.

Superintendent of North Adams Public Schools James Montepare said the shooting sheds a light on the need for increased funding for schools to enhance security – which is a typical challenge for districts with older buildings.

The superintendents also all mentioned the communication between districts across the country on school security and working with distressed students and families. 

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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