Bellmore-Merrick schools react to Sandy Hook shooting

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“As is always the case, Calhoun students rose to the occasion and understood our procedural changes and supported each other throughout the day,” he said. “While we made some initial adjustments to our visitor control procedures and to our routes of egress, we will continue to investigate ways in which we can enhance our safety protocols.”

Stace Thea, co-president of the John F. Kennedy High School Parent Teacher Association, said she expects safety measures to be a topic of discussion at future site-based meetings. Lorraine Poppe, Kennedy’s principal, has also spoken with students and parents about safety measures that the district is taking after the Newtown tragedy, according to Thea.

The PTA co-president said that she had trouble putting her reaction to the incident into words, and that the community would continue to grieve for the Sandy Hook victims in the coming weeks and months.

“The wounds are open at this time,” she said. “Our school community mourns this terrible loss. Everyone wants every child to be as safe as possible. Clearly, the safety of our students is always a top priority.”

Other local PTA leaders said student safety was at the forefront of their minds after the shooting, and that an examination of local procedures would be in the best interest of students.

Lisa Rattoballi, co-president of the Wellington C. Mepham High School PTA, said she was comfortable with the safety procedures at Martin Avenue Elementary School in North Bellmore when her children attended school there, in addition to Mepham now. She added, however, that the tragedy has and should make the community reflect.

“I was speaking to my kids, and they felt safe and I felt safe sending them to school,” she said. “Everyone has practices in place, but maybe we need to look at them again.”

In the elementary schools

Bellmore-Merrick’s four elementary school districts are also looking at their procedures to prevent intruders from entering the schools, according to superintendents.
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