Opinion: Not sure if Truckee-Tahoe schools are safe | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Not sure if Truckee-Tahoe schools are safe

Nicole Wojslaw
Special to the Sun

EDITOR’S NOTE: TTUSD Superintendent Rob Leri Thursday said there were two sub teachers at Alder Creek Tuesday, and both were directly visited by an administrator to ensure the soft lockdown was followed. Further, upgrades at Glenshire Elementary through Measure U will improve staff’s view and monitoring of people entering the main doors, he said.

News that a student brought a handgun to Alder Creek Middle School on Monday is absolutely frightening. It has dominated my thoughts over the past few days, and the more I think about it, the more upset I become.

I’m upset because it’s unclear if his parents will face criminal charges for not securing the firearm. How can they not be held mostly responsible for this? How may there not be steep repercussions for their alleged gross negligence that could have cost innocent children their lives?

Are we going to give them a slap on their wrist and send them on their way? They need to endure charges so it serves as a huge warning to them and any parents who choose to own firearms and leave them unsecured.

It’s terrible to be so careless about guns in your own home, yet it’s truly horrendous to have your negligence potentially affect the rest of us.

I’m upset because a parent of an ACMS student told me that her daughter was at school when this occurred and the kids were supposed to begin their lockdown drill but the substitute teacher that day didn’t know what to do! TTUSD, shame on you! Every teacher you hire – permanent or substitute – should know every school drill, period.

I’m upset because I do not believe that our school district has proper measures in place to prevent dangerous people who mean our children harm from entering our schools.

My child is at Glenshire and I can tell you that you can walk in the front door and head to a classroom, no questions asked, no ID required and nobody at the front desk stopping you.

Yes, they have a “policy” in place where we’re supposed to sign in and get a badge, but I’ve never seen it firmly enforced.

Other schools in the nation do not allow any parents into the school, even if just trying to drop their child at the classroom, without signing in and showing ID. Yes, it’s sad it has come to this, but this is the world we live in, and I’ll take the inconvenience if it means keeping kids safe and alive. I’m upset because when I drop my child off in the mornings, I hear parents gripe that the side door, near the kindergarten playground, is not unlocked and that they have to go through the main entrance. Really? I’m happy it’s closed and locked, as my child’s classroom is fairly close to this side entrance.

I have a tiny bit more peace of mind knowing a bad person can’t sneak in a side door and be all that much closer to hurting my, and other, innocent kids.

When are we going to take this seriously? We’ve now had a huge warning with this Alder Creek situation, and I want to know what we’ll do with it. Will we assure that this kid and his parents are rightfully punished under the law so others see this is a very serious and no-tolerance matter?

Will TTUSD step up and tighten security much, much more at our schools, and assure every teacher is certain of what to do in an emergency situation like this?

Will we take every precaution to give ourselves the best shot at nothing like this ever occurring again in our town?

I pray we do, and to me, it’s inexcusable and unforgivable and a recipe for disaster if we do not.

Nicole Wojslaw is a Truckee resident.