In an active shooter incident, the average shooting time is usually less than ten minutes. In Parkland, 17 people were killed and 17 injured in seven minutes; in Sandy Hook, the active shooting time was ten minutes and less than two weeks ago, the police arrived at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch, CO just two minutes after the first shots were fired. In Scarsdale, where there have been two unplanned, potential emergencies, the police weren’t called until 14 and 12 minutes after the lock down/in was called.
Where are the police? They are in their patrol cars, in their station and around the Village, ready to respond at a moment’s notice. What’s missing? The proper procedures to give them that ‘notice’. The District’s policies regarding school safety fail to address timely notification of police. There have been two lock downs/lock ins so far this school year. These were not planned drills, but potentially active events of unknown severity. Even seconds can literally cost lives. Why were there enormous delays in notifying the police?
We asked that very question numerous times subsequent to the QRS bomb threat in late October. Dr. Hagerman’s email response to the incident at QRS stated that “an investigation was immediately initiated jointly by the school… and our law enforcement partners.” Dr Hagerman went on to say that “the police were called within a few minutes.” Dr. Hagerman seems to equate “immediately,” “after a few minutes,” and 14 minutes. There has been still no mention of the 14 minute time period, which has been substantiated by eyewitness accounts and police dispatch records. Why try to mislead parents and the general public or ignore the situation altogether? We have continually asked specific questions regarding the delays and have been met with silence. From the time that the Middle School lock down was initiated until notification of the Scarsdale Police 12 minutes elapsed. Is this the result of our school protocol in an emergency? The Board of Education is seemingly accepting of this situation as they have not posed this question to the administration. Is anyone on the Board concerned about delays in notifying police? If they were, perhaps they would ask that question of Dr. Hagerman and Mr. Mattey in a public forum. They have not. It seems they may be more concerned with maintaining the image of the District Administration. First and foremost, the Board should ensure the safety of our children and not simply accept whatever the District administration has to offer.
Our specific questions have, once again, gone unanswered. Does the District Administration believe that they can ignore legitimate safety questions and concerns from parents? Current behavior would suggest they believe that they are not answerable to us. Thankfully neither incident was an actual emergency because if it was, the result of a 12-14 minute delay in contacting police could have been catastrophic. Our children deserve better and we must ensure their safety if the Board and District Administration won’t.