Atlantic City Teachers Write Their Concerns About School Safety
In direct response to the unbearable events in Uvalde, Texas involving a mass shooter … who killed 19 students and two teachers … we have received a number of communications directly from Atlantic City Public Schools teachers.
The communications are from staff members who are very concerned and highly critical that the Atlantic City Public Schools do not have proper safety precautions and programs in effect.
This is one of the communications exactly as written:
“I am appalled with both my principals, director of security and Superintendent.”
“NEITHER ONE OF THEM emailed district staff--especially in the schools--any kind of encouragement, assurance that "we're keeping schools safe", NO kind of email sharing there are counselors in place for students/staff affected emotionally after the event that happened in Texas.”
“I guess hiring the new superintendent is more important than school safety or the mental health of the staff.”
Another teacher wrote us:
“A lot of inconsistencies and COMPLETELY BROKEN safety system. I would encourage a deep investigation--beginning with the “older schools.”
We are in the process of returning phone calls to other teachers, who want corrective action to take place.
There is a common thread to all of the conversations we have had. Each is concerned about potential retaliation if the La’Quetta Small administration finds out who these employees are.
We will honor the request to protect their privacy, while responsibly reporting to the public that there are Atlantic City certified staff members who have valid concerns about a lack of safety in the Atlantic City Public Schools.
We reached out to Atlantic City Board of Education Member John Devlin, who is also a retired career Atlantic City Police Officer.
“There is always room for more security, I will always advocate for more resources to be dedicated. I want to confirm that Jim Sarkos has been a great police chief,” said Devlin.
”I would have felt much more comfortable if La’Quetta Small (Superintendent) would have shown proper leadership right after the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas,” said Devlin.
“On a positive note. We do have an effective camera system … with a monitoring room, that is staffed with retired police officers. Our live feed video directly connects right to the Atlantic City Police Department.”
This is a real positive. As The Atlantic City Public Schools may be the only district in the region to have such an incredibly effective camera system, staffed by retired police monitors … along with the direct the collaboration with the Atlantic City police department.
However, “La’Quetta Small should have made an appropriate public statement on Day 1 of this national tragedy. La’Quetta’s lack of both leadership and a sense of urgency is deeply troubling,” said Devlin.
The teachers who have contacted us, recommended that Devlin tour each of the Atlantic City public schools … in order to see for himself exactly what is going on right now. They recommended that Devlin begin with the oldest buildings first.
SOURCES: John Devlin, Atlantic City Board of Education Member & Atlantic City Public Schools teachers.
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