03/22/2018 Letters & Commentary

Dedication to keeping every school district safe

 The following is a joint communiqué fully endorsed by the Superintendents of all Van Buren County Public School Districts, Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Andrew Hubbard, Van Buren Intermediate School District Superintendent Jeff Mills, Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Abbot, Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post Commander Lieutenant Dale Hinz:

Parents, Students and Community of Van Buren County,

The tragic events of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting are still in the forefront of all our minds.  Our thoughts are with the students, staff, parents, first responders, and all who have been personally touched by this incident.   This heartbreaking event has all school districts around the nation reflecting on the safety and security of our students and staff.

As school superintendents and law enforcement officials of Van Buren County, we want to assure you of our dedication in keeping every school district safe for students and staff.  School safety is our first and foremost priority.  School districts and law enforcement have collaborated, as partners, to put into place overlapping layers of security for schools.  The layers of security include:

Law enforcement officers and school district staff going through the Active Shooter Incident Response, (ASIR) training; law enforcement officers training in school buildings on tactics used to deal with active shooters; county wide school emergency management resource; local school administrators access to threat assessment resources; OK to SAY program in our school buildings for confidential reporting of school threats; Van Buren Countywide Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team.

As school superintendents and law enforcement officials, we have loved ones attending our schools. We share your concern for school safety and pledge to keep our schools safe and secure.  To accomplish our vow, we will:

Quickly investigate any/all threats made to school and student safety; involve county resources to assure school district needs are met; continue to go above required safety drills to train school staff on ASIR; continue to train with law enforcement in active shooter response training.

We commit to working together for the safety and benefit of our most treasured assets: STUDENTS.

Kim LaSata absent from scheduled “Office Hours” in Watervliet

Dear Editor,

I would very much like to “thank” representative Kim LaSata for not showing up at Mill Creek Charlie’s on Saturday, March l0 between 12:00-1:00 for the open forum that was advertised in the Tri-City Record. I did have better things to do with my time than sit around waiting for nothing.

I am not surprised, however, that true to Republican form she “chickened” out. The repukelicans, as I call them, are very brave and bold when they’re screwing the American people over behind closed doors, but when it comes to facing us – who they’re supposed to be representing – face to face, they’re too afraid to take the criticism and derision that is due them for continually selling us out.

Were you afraid you’d be booed and chased out of the restaurant? You’re probably right. I was there to let you know what I think of you and the rest of your treasonous party. I wouldn’t have expected anything more from an anti-women’s choice forced birther zealot and gun nut such as you.