Oxford Looks to Make Schools Safer

The town is reviewing all four local schools and officials say they are willing to do whatever is necessary to improve safety.


When it comes to keeping children safe in schools, money is no object to Oxford First Selectman George Temple.

Temple was asked by Oxford Patch how much the town was willing to spend on safety upgrades in the town’s four school buildings, and he responded with an emphatic: “Whatever it takes.”

“We are in the process of assessing safety in all of our buildings, and whatever safety upgrades are necessary, that is what we will do,” he said. “The Board of Finance seems to be on board with this, too.”

Like most school districts across the nation and probably the world, Oxford has been taking a close look at how it can make schools safer in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 students and six educators. While everyone took the news hard, there was an added concern in Oxford because it happened in a bordering community, officials say.

Temple and others say they don’t want to give too much information about their exact safety upgrades or security procedures because they don’t want potential perpetrators to know them. However, officials spoke in general terms, saying they have an added police presence in schools with officers and troopers stopping into buildings on a regular basis.

Oxford Resident Trooper Sgt. Dan Semosky said local officers are ahead of the game because they have already been reviewing school layouts plans and safety measures for years.

“Everybody is on board with this, and while we have had safety measures in place, we are looking to see if they can be even stronger,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools Tim Connellan said educators are discussing emergency management and response plans with local town and emergency personnel.

He said those plans need to be made for each individual school because every building is constructed differently. And, like many other educators, Connellan said teachers don't want to be carrying guns: they want to teach children.

Arming educators is not something the town is prepared to support, either. 

Still, Temple said building safety upgrades will be made sooner rather than later. He said there is no issue in town that is more important than this and he doesn’t plan to waste time debating this issue.

“We’re not prepared to make schools an armed camp, but we are going to make schools even safer,” he said. “We take this with the upmost seriousness.”

Oxford and all school districts around the country could get a boost from the federal government for school safety plans. President Obama announced Wednesday that he's seeking several gun and safety control measures, including giving money to school districts to pay for school resource officers. 

Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Here is my "9 Point" plan to keep your kids safe at school. This is part 1... see part two in another post. 1) Lockable 3" thick, Fire proof steel doors on each room in the buildings with small windows, small enough that an average person cant put their arms through made of 2" thick bullet proof glass. 2) Outside windows should also be smaller and more secure than than what they use now, they should be on average 7-8 feet from the ground with no obstructions like trees or bushes in front of them. 3) Anything that can be carried or dragged to the windows and be used to climb up on or stand on like bike racks and garbage cans, should be mounted permanently well away from the buildings. 4) All entrance doors should be steel, explosion proof, security locked from within and they should be attended at all times when schools are in session. 5) All PTA, meetings, deliveries and the like should be done After school closes and there's no students in or on the property. 6) No one should be allowed to enter the building for any reason while school is in session (except for emergency purposes and only the first responders!)
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Part two of my "9 Point " plan to keep your kids safe at school... (see part one of this post first) ........ Continued from Post, Part one. 7) Parents dropping off or picking up Students should have to call in before they can enter the parking lot from a call box outside the entrance gate just as you would do when entering a secure business. 8) Parents would have to park away from the building in a designated, Pick up / Drop off area that can be easilly monitored from the schools security officer who is stationed inside the building. 9) No parent would be allowed to walk their child too or from the building, the student would be escorted by a staff member at all times when being picked up or dropped off. If we all just use common sense and stop all the silly arguing about stupid things like those who say "But if we do these things, then schools become prison like" ... Well, do you want your children safe or open to violence? There is no magic genie who will swoop in on a magic carpet and save them from the next Adam Lanza! And banning certain types of firearms or arming teachers (we are after all, TRYING to keep guns OUT of the schools) is not going to keep people safe from violence. We need to get on with some real-world "fixes" for the security issues then, maybe your kids will be safe at school again!
AMS January 17, 2013 at 03:18 PM
While your at it Zac why don't we just drop off our kids in Sept and pick them up say in June, from you fortress. I would add a mote with alligators to point 3.
Joe Blow January 17, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Sounds more like a prison to me. People like you make me laugh. Build walls and make laws to hide behind but solve nothing and don't address the real problems. The liberal establishment is coming home to roost and ya might want to arm yourself because it's gonna get ugly. Oh, wait a minute, they took away your guns. Good luck.
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 03:47 PM
so.... what then, do you two think should be done to keep kids safe from harm while at school? please, the floor is yours... seriously.
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Actually, you two make a sweet couple... AMS and JOE BLOW.. cant even use a real name ar photo..lol hey I got a good idea, instead of posting a real idea to a very real problem to an article about a very real problem, lets just log on and criticize others who are actually trying to come up with a way to solv the very real problem, then while were at it, lets spice up our most excellent tolling with witty remarks like "People like you make me laugh. Build walls and make laws to hide behind but solve nothing and don't address the real problems. The liberal establishment is coming home to roost and ya might want to arm yourself because it's gonna get ugly. Oh, wait a minute, they took away your guns. Good luck" or the super spectacular bit of Snark-casm..."While your at it Zac why don't we just drop off our kids in Sept and pick them up say in June, from you fortress. I would add a mote with alligators to point 3." oh what fun it will be and everyone will think we are so funny and brilliant and cool... Weeeee...
Joe Blow January 17, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Join a conservative organization (notice I didn't say Republican Party as they are just the second head on a two headed snake) and instill morals, integrity, responsibility and honor to out citizens and country. You know, all those things the liberals are against.
Joe Blow January 17, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Well "C Zac", I'm smart enough to not use my real name and photo due to the nutcases that liberalism has created. If you chose to do so have at it, it's called freedom. I also find it very interesting that you think your "ideas" are gospel but my opinion is worthless. You are part of the problem, not the solution.
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Join a Conservative organization? Yeah it would be fine to do all these things youve listed but somethng needs to be done now! teaching people to be responsible, careing adults who have morals and honor will take awhile and will not help with the crazy amongst us here and now. What then? how do we figure out who is nuts and who isnt? then if we do and we report them, the liberals wont let us do anything with them... theyd yell its illegal to have them tested, that we were treating them like criminals by not letting them live how they want... then while all that is happening, some idiot is happilly skipping into a school with a butt load of weapons ready to try and kill everyone. Im trying to find a solution to keep people who should not be in a school out... yeah its too bad there isnt just a "Crazy detector" we can install in the door way but, if it means making things a little bit inconvienient for some, then hey, it is what it is.. id rather have 4 inch wide windows make of bullet proof glass installed on lockable explosion proof doors then have a whole class of dead kids!
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 04:40 PM
"I'm smart enough to not use my real name and photo due to the nutcases that liberalism has created." I see you are admitting that there are nutcases out there.. You are also admitting that you are hiding your real name and pic to protect yourself from such nut cases... yet you dont like the idea of securing our schools so more violence doesnt happen at them? Just what do you have agains children? You do like children dont you? As for thinking my ideas are gospel.. i never said that i only implied they were great ideas which I think they are or could be ... no one has to take the ideas of some goofball posting on a Patch website but hey, I dont see any other ideas being spoken except one side saying we should just ban guns and our problems will all be solved.. and the other side saying, just arm the teachers and we wont have anymore problems... now, what sounds better, armed teachers bringing guns into the school or no one has a gun so crazy man walks in with a bic lighter and a back pack full of home made bombs or Molotov Cocktails or a nice safe place where kids and parents can finally feel comfortable knowing that no matter what, the kids are safe in school?
Joe Blow January 17, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Well C Zac, your solutions, though they may be okay, are short term, feel good, emotional reactions to a much bigger problem. One thing I can commend you on is your solution doesn't include taking away my rights.
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 05:45 PM
well yeah, short term untill we can get a handle on the real underlying problems in the country... the fact is, as a society, I think we just may be headed into a downward spiral. no one today seems to have any compassion, manners, morals..they dont seem to feel guilt and they seem to be really stubborn and egotistical..well, maybe not ALL but alot more than there used to be. Just go for a drive down 188 or on any other road here in town. people drive on your tail and try to make you go faster...even though youre already 10 miles per hr above the limit.. they cut you off even if theres no one else behind you, they drive around with those super bright headlights on and blind everyone but dont seem to notice or care... lol Yeah, once we can figure out a way to stop the madness, like you said, educate them and teach them manners and morals and Honor, we will be dealing with hot headed jerks who dont care as long as its not them. As for your rights.. which ones? I would never try to take someones rights away... heck im pissed aboutall these proposed weapons laws and changes and bans...
Joe Blow January 17, 2013 at 06:10 PM
C Zac, It appears we think more alike then we would care to admit. The difference being, I'll call out the truth behind the bullshit and you appear to feed into it. Just an observation and not intended to belittle you.
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 08:08 PM
maybe..lol i dont think im feeding into the BS though,,, I am just saying what i think. We need to look more at First, shoring up security at the schools... i mean, The school in Newtown had a secure door but... someone buzzed in this kid. now why have a secure door that your just gonna open for anyone who rings the bell? lol I admit though, i sometimes do get caught up in stuff and have to step back and take a look around. But I also think I will stick up for what I think is right. Like the new gun laws that they are talking about.. im so conflicted that it hurts. I dont see where banning alot of guns just because the way they look is going to solve anything... just as I dont think banning all guns is going to solve anything. I just wish all those who are screaming about Assault guns would do a bit of research first... Folding stocks, bayonet lugs, front grips or flash suppressors dont make the gun any more or less lethal. So to me, its just a bunch of scared, mindless adults running around in the dark, banning something because of its looks... If these guns were people, they'd sue the s*** out of our government for descrimination! lol Anyhow, we should never, ever give up any of our rights, ever..for any reason.
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 08:20 PM
wait.. Joe, so you are ex military? Also, you arent a Lib? lol i guess i had you pegged all wrong. By your first post here I figured you were one of the scared libs who think that just taking guns away and wishing upon a star, everything will be all shiny and happy... and free!
Jim January 17, 2013 at 09:04 PM
No one "buzzed in the kid" He shot out the glass.
Craig Zac January 17, 2013 at 09:12 PM
yes.. i forgot about that, he did shoot his way in...too bad the glass and doors werent bullet proof...


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