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Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
There's a 'fine line' when dealing with some storiesPosted Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at 3:41 PM
In the last few weeks I've had to cover two different stories where two local schools were on lockdown in back-to-back weeks.
These stories are important, but in my opinion they rank in the top three most difficult to write.
As Linton-Stockton Superintendent Nick Karazsia told me, there is a fine line between adequate information and too much information.
The barrier lies at what is safest for the students and school staff.
When I am speaking with these administrators the strain is so evident as they decide what can and cannot be given to the public.
The Bloomfield School District story where a juvenile was creeping around the campus is the perfect example. This was an ongoing case with the school administrators and local law enforcement working diligently throughout the night to ensure a case was built.
This work and withholding just enough information helped to not only catch this juvenile in the case in Bloomfield, but also brought to light issues in a different county with the same juvenile.
Parents and students are always in a fury with questions about what the lockdown procedures mean, and how it will effect the school day. It's scary knowing there may be a threat, and it has to be hard to make that final decision as a parent or guardian.
With the way the world is today, the schools have to take every threat seriously. I don't have children so I can't imagine the anxiety a parent has to endure when something like this happens.
But, many of these administrators are also parents of former students. Some still have children in the school system, and they are the ones making the decision as to whether it is safe for other people to send their own children to school.
I've been able to reassure parents I've spoken with that the close work between the schools and law enforcement officials makes for even safer schools.
Living in small communities makes it not only safer for our students with the quick response of law enforcement, but easier to identify an intruder in the school.
There are law enforcement officers near, if not inside, the schools at all times. These law enforcement officers are also parents, which is an additional push in creating a safe school environment.
As a former Linton-Stockton student, I can say there was never a time I didn't feel safe at the school. Our teachers would tell us what the lockdown would entail, and when it was absolutely necessary we were kept safely inside our classrooms.
It's sad we live in a world where we cannot even guarantee to our children, the most innocent of human beings, they will be safe in an educational facility.
We have to work together as media, school administrators, staff, law enforcement, families and neighbors to be sure there is sufficient information available to prevent a tragedy.
We can't work against each other by critiquing and claiming not enough is being said or done. Or, even worse, spreading rumors that terrify the students even more. Social media spreads these comments quickly, and can be seen by so many.
Sabrina is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 847-4487.
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