WBSM TV: New Bedford School Committee Members on Safety Measures
New Bedford School Committee Members John Oliveira and Chris Cotter join WBSM's Brian Thomas, filling in for Barry Richard during the snowstorm, to discuss school safety.
The night before, the School Committee spend significant time in executive sessions discussing how to make city schools safer, and Oliveira and Cotter shared some insight into some of the discussion.
Oliveira said he's against arming teachers, because he feels we don't need more weapons in schools, but he also feels schools need to be safer. He also said he's not necessarily in favor of metal detectors in schools, because of the amount of time it would take students to get through them each morning, and that "we have to establish trust with them." Oliveira did point out that better teacher retention in schools would help with having a faculty that knows the students well and can detect when things are wrong.
Cotter later joined by phone, and disputed the idea that active shooter drills in schools is no different than having fire safety drills. He was also able to add extra insight, being a police officer as well as a member of the School Committee, He called active shooter situations and fires "two completely separate situations."
The two also took calls, including one caller that said he wants to see schools safer, but doesn't want to see them become like prisons.