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Saturday, March 10, 2018

School security question comes up in planned walk-out from school, flyer

The question of school security in Prescott has come up in two new items which took place late this week.

The first was an announcements that students at Prescott High School will take part in a national walk-out from school on Wednesday, March 14. The action was proposed by Prescott High School Student Council in a resolution, which stated the intent to honor those who lost their lives in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida. 

"Students who participate in the walkout have been granted amnesty from disciplinary action. As a school we try to instill in our students the ability to analyze a situation, process relevant information, and then take a stance. The National School Walkout has provided a platform for our students to have voice on a relevant issue that impacts them. This is the most significant youth movement we've seen in many years. We have to listen to our students because they have something to say. The walkout itself is not a political protest, it is not specific to any one topic. It is simply to raise awareness of the issue of school violence, and our youth have to be part of the conversation. They have to be part of the solution." PHS Principal Josh Fiege said.

In related school security item, anonymously written flyer as emailed to members of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, criticizing the lack of planning for school security by both school district officials and by the City of Prescott. The letter referred back to an incident last fall at Prescott Middle School where two juvenile suspects reportedly made threats against the school that were reported to authorities and intervention was made by the Prescott Police Department and the school to prevent any threat from being carried out. The letter urged people to attend the upcoming city council meeting (Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m.) and school board meeting (Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.) to speak out on the topic. "Mayor (Dave) Hovel and Superintendent (Dr. Rick) Spicuzza need to share their action plans with the community on how they will protect us. Now! Now! Now!" the letter stated. "Our children need your help today. Pressure local leaders for action. Join other Prescott Chamber of Commerce members with your voice."

Lisa Johnson, the new President of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce said the organization had nothing to do with the letter and in no way represents the feelings of the Chamber.

"We believe the Prescott School District and the City of Prescott value the importance of every child's safety.  We trust that they have taken and continue to take the proper steps to insure the safety of all students and faculty of the Prescott School System.  We fully support and appreciate the attention they give this issue each and every day." Johnson said in a statement. 

Dr. Spicuzza also responded to the anonymous flyer:

"The Mayor and I know these jobs come with critics but are equally proud of the collaborative efforts that are taken each year between our police department and school staff," Dr. Spicuzza said.  "On a local level anytime student or staff safety is a concern the police department has addressed the concerns swiftly, competently, and in a timely manner."

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