Time to examine school security

To the Editor:

Thursday evening, I attended a pre-school “fashion show” at Ludlowe High School, where preschoolers modeled the work of the high school fashion students. Families, students, and teachers gathered for the fun little event, with lots of smiles all ‘round.

The next morning brought news of another tragic high school shooting, this time in Texas. The TV screen filled with the same video clips, confusing reports, medical briefings, expressions of sympathy from government figures, interviews with talking heads, press conferences, the gut wrenching pleas of young students and, of course, lots of condolences, thoughts and prayers. Another school shooting in America — we’re all too familiar with the drill.

It struck me that the previous evening, going to see my grandson’s event, my wife and I entered through an unattended side door to the high school. We paused inside, looking down the corridors to get our bearings — free access; no lock, no challenge, a deserted entrance and empty hallway. Absolutely anyone could have entered the school unnoticed. On our walk up to the door, we noticed other entrances to the building, similarly offering free access.

Now I do not advocate creating armed camps out of our schools, and I think arming teachers is a colossally stupid idea. But surely there must be other measures that can offer another level of security for our schools. The challenges we’ve created and continue to face are daunting:

Too many guns

Too easy access

Too much ammo

Too little control

Too little mental health diagnosis and treatment

Too little supportive social services

Too much money in politics

Too much influence by the gun lobby

Too little courage in Congress

Nevertheless, isn’t there something we can do to make the schools a little safer, a little less exposed, a little less accessible to any unknown entrant?

It comes to mind that a week ago it took about 15 minutes to get through security in order to enter Yankee Stadium for a baseball game.

We citizens of Connecticut can take some pride in that we are at the forefront of trying to reduce gun violence. Sadly, much of our collective civic commitment was generated by our own tragedy, perhaps the most horrific among our growing national collection of tragedies. However, I strongly suspect that if we were to turn on the news one day to find that one of our schools had been attacked, that the unimaginable was visited upon our kids again, we would doubtlessly try to address school security, and how we might reduce the possibility or extent of such atrocities.

Let’s prevail upon our town officials to provide the expertise and resources to examine the issue now and put in place some remedies to make our school buildings more secure and safer — before the unthinkable happens again.

Stu Bloom

Fairfield

Vote for Ashley

To the Editor:

Recently, the current Republicans representing Fairfield in Hartford argued that they demonstrated “bold, strong leadership” by opposing tax increases and tolls. I’m not sure how “bold” this is. It sounds more like common sense to me.

As the representative of the 134th district, Laura Devlin has come across as an advocate for the region by championing bipartisan legislation and bemoaning high taxes. But what is missing is the vision; a strong body of votes that directly make our lives better. What we have instead is someone who has yet to carve out an identity, just another Republican in a pack.

Fairfield and Trumbull are diverse and unique regions that need someone who has struggled as we have, to make our streets safer, our schools more efficient, and our quality of life improved.

Fortunately, this year we have a choice. Ashley Guadino has been in the trenches alongside many in the community. She’s worked with nonprofits and understands the value of every penny. She has served on the Trumbull Town Council so has a keen understanding of what homeowners of all means need. She’s an attorney and can make sense of the legislation, determining what helps and what doesn’t.

Ashley can bring a fresh voice, fresh perspective, and fresh energy to a State Assembly that has been mired in the same old rut. Laura Devlin may be a thoughtful person, but she has done nothing unique for us and we need a change. We need someone like Ashley who will show up, ready to work, and bring about substantive improvements to the region and Connecticut alike.

I strongly urge you to vote for Ashley Guadino.

Karen Sanger

Fairfield

Throwing politics

into tragedy

To the Editor:

Just hours after a teenager shot 10 people to death and wounded 10 others in a high school near Houston, Texas, Senator Chris Murphy took to the stage at the CT Democratic Convention to immediately throw politics into the tragedy. “We’re Democrats, because we want every child in this country to grow up without fear of gun violence......We support the Second Amendment that allows Congress to do what the overwhelming majority of Americans wants us to do, like pass mandatory background checks and ban assault weapons,” said Murphy.

At the time Murphy stood up at that political arena, the public already knew that the teenager accused of the shooting used stolen weapons to reek his carnage at the school. Background checks will rarely stop a thief from stealing. The public also knew that the weapons used were a shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver. Neither weapon has ever been tagged an "assault" weapon by even the most liberal members of Congress.

Murphy and the Democrats held a majority in the U.S. Senate from the day of the Newton school shootings in December 2012 through Jan. 3, 2015. Barack Obama held the presidency at the same time, too. Granted, the House was Republican-controlled all along, but never during that time did Murphy and his Senate Democrats pass a single piece of legislation addressing the issue he has wrapped himself around.

Murphy counts on Connecticut voters not being informed on what goes on in the U.S. Senate. Every member of the U.S. Senate, regardless of political party, wants what Murphy claims only Democrats want. Not all members of the Senate agree on how to get there. Honest debate and compromise will get them there, but that is not how Murphy has approached the issue.

Murphy might want to try addressing the issue head on with honest facts instead of always politicizing the latest tragedy.

Jim Brown

Fairfield

Not sure what was being presented

To the Editor:

Recently, the District 3 representatives to the RTM had a meeting at Fairfield Woods Library. It was held May 5. The Democratic members Heather Dean, Matt Jacobs, Sharon Pistilli, and Republican Alex Durrell.

We discussed various district issues. It was a cordial meeting of the minds. I was most surprised to have one of my representatives join the minority vote against the budget. Representative Alex Durrell gave no indication that he had any issues with the current budget.

So which Representative Alex Durrell showed up at the budget hearing and voted against it ? The mill rate increase was focused on 2 mills. Now right in our District 3 we have the Holland Hill School project. I believed that all of our representatives supported the improvements. Some history for Representative Durrell that his late mom, Jacky Durrell who served as first selectman, supported many projects and the mill rate was never as low as the one First Selectman Tetreau has presented.

Not sure, what Durrell was trying to present based upon his statement. He joined 3 others to vote against it. Well I think he has some explaining to do for his recent vote. My concern is which Representative Alex Durrell will show up to represent the needs of District 3? We have always had a cordial relationship. May he be more open with what he plans to do for our district.

Susan P. Barrett

Fairfield