It’s complicated

Not sure who has the ear of the editor of the Milford Cabinet, but it appears that in writing the editorial entitled “Cameras in schools a good idea,” the editor only chose to cite the opinion of one Amherst resident and a fear- filled presentation made by the SROs of Souhegan and the Amherst Middle School.

It seems that the person who wrote this did not attend the recent public forum on security where Souhegan’s administration, SRO and Community Council presented the ongoing work being done to assess and enhance security at Souhegan. Kathy Cleveland, a Cabinet reporter, did attend and wrote a fair account of the evening; citing the varied concerns and recommendations of the audience.

Because this editorial makes it seem that the security review centers only on cameras, I thought it important to remind people of the job being done by Community Council. Council has approached security at Souhegan in a holistic, common sense fashion. The Security Committee (made up of all the stakeholders) has developed an extensive list of security measures that are being discussed by the entire Community Council (also made up of all the stakeholders). Recommendations to the School Board will be made in early December.

What is important to note is that the use of cameras is only one of dozens of security measures being considered by Community Council. It is short-sighted to think that cameras are the only solution to improving safety and security. The comprehensive approach taken by Community Council addresses equally the possible addition of security equipment and the need to ensure that the school climate is one that creates an atmosphere of trust, has well trained and informed people within the buildings and a shared responsibility to keep each other safe.

The following sources are worth reading if you’d like to gain a more complete picture of what measures work best for individual schools:

Sandy Hook skews focus to security equipment, away from human side of school safety

(Are Post- Columbine Schools Any Safer?)