May 24, 2018
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Rockland forum to address school safety

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A public forum to discuss school safety has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Rockland City Hall.

Plans for the meeting have been in the works since hours after the Dec. 14 deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Mayor William Clayton and representatives from towns within Regional School Unit 13, school representatives, and police agencies including Rockland Police, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and Maine State Police and Emergency Management Agency met Jan. 30 to discuss school safety in preparation for the Feb. 26 public forum.

“The meeting was the best chance we had to assess what we have in place, ensure we are doing all that we can to find ways to increase security and promote open discussion between our communities on how we can all help each other. The interaction and discussion was open, poignant and eye-opening,” Clayton said.

The mayor said a lot of parents and teachers have spoken to him about wanting to be able to give their input.

Besides the school shooting in Connecticut, there was a local incident that prompted safety concerns.

There was a partial lockdown Dec. 6 at the South School in Rockland after a parent, whose children had been removed from the home by the state, had made a comment about trying to get them from the elementary school.

Students were kept inside during recess and the front lobby door was locked. That door is normally the only one that is open from the outside during the school day. A police cruiser was parked outside the school that day.

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