February 2, 2013 at 12:56 PM
I just read a re-print of a PatersonPress.com article that was circulated in the P.E.A. Advocate entitled "Officials Consider Increasing Armed Security Force at City Schools". In the article there was reference made to the District employing twelve armed security guards who are assigned to various schools through out the District - including PANTHER and HARP Academies. While there is an officer assigned to PANTHER Academy, I can tell you, without equivocation, there there is NO armed security guard assigned to HARP, nor has there ever been an armed security guard assigned to HARP.
If you are aware of HARP Academy's location, you may understand the plight of our staff and students because there is no effective method of alerting people to a dangerous situation, especially if a lock down is required due to intruders or an active shooter situation. There is no PA system and various lock down drills have proved ineffective due to the physical layout of the school and lack of efficient communication. Quite honestly, we are all concerned for the physical safety of students and staff. I understand that the District is in the process of formulating safety plans for all schools, but we at HARP Academy are still concerned about how our situation will be addressed considering the overall deficiencies and limitations that the site presents.
Elaine T. Rowin
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