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Saturday October 25th 2014

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A year after promises to make schools safer, Thomas starts assessments

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In the days after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., Escambia County Superintendent Malcolm Thomas told the daily newspaper, “We’re going to do everything, every day to keep our children safe.”

In January 2013, Thomas created the Escambia County’s Security Task Force to make our schools safer. He barred parents and media from attending the group’s meetings. For months, we thought that the group was working to make the schools more secure.

Today we learned from an article published in the daily newspaper that the school district has only recently begun its assessment of the security at its schools. Furthermore, those assessments will take four to six months

Why has it taken so long for the superintendent and his staff to do this? Wasn’t this a priority of the school board?

On Dec.14, 2012, Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members. The nation mourned their deaths.

Escambia County School Board and Thomas promised parents swift action. This 12-18 month delay is anything but swift and doesn’t count the additional time it will take for any security recommendations to be implemented.

Maybe by this time next year, parents will be able to have confidence in the safety of their children’s schools.