In response to an email that was sent to me by our Nashua School District superintendent trying to soothe parents who are worried about the safety of our children in our Nashua schools. With all due respect, in response to your letter to parents signed up to the newsletter, we do not provide any safety at most of the entrances of our Nashua schools.
When my son was adopted in 2006, he started school at Mt. Pleasant and one of my big concerns, having taught school in Crowley, Louisiana, and having dealt with criminal acts by parents at our school while I was teaching, was that I realized our schools in Nashua have no protection.
I pushed, along with other parents, while my son was at Mt. Pleasant and they finally had a camera and a buzzer installed at the door since the reception area was upstairs and the main door brought you into a stairway. I have three children. One attends Charlotte Ave and two others are at Pennichuck Middle School. Charlotte Avenue School has a plastic little linked chain that can be unhooked and crossed at any time without anyone noticing. The windows to the reception area are to the side and people are too busy to look up even when we walk into the reception/office area to the right of the main entrance hallway; windows are high, anyone could duck and sneak by.
Pennichuck Middle School has a main door open and the back doors open. Anyone can walk into the school and go unnoticed because, again, the main offices are located to the ride side of the main hallway and staff are busy working, not looking up when people walk in. Anyone can walk into most of our schools without being noticed.
Something has to be done!
First, I would suggest that school boards, in Nashua and around the state, work togehter – similar to Mayors Against Illegal Guns – toward putting back stronger gun regulations. Guns were meant to kill. Yes, it is true that knives and cars kill people; however guns kill more at one given time. Add a machine gun with 30 rounds firing at once and many die.
The Republican Party pushes for looser gun regulations through ALEC legislations pushed and paid for by gun lobby reps that allow gun owners to simply have to prove they are 18 to buy or carry a gun legally. Zero background checks and no licenses required.
There are a lot of great gun owners; but I also know a lot of individuals I would never want to see as gun owners because of their lack of anger management or personalities. Many who own guns have no safety training and have no idea how to use a gun in an emergency situation. I understand that teachers have codes during emergencies with special instruction, but nothing in place to spot danger or prevent them from entering our schools before it’s too late.
Adolescent depression is common; it scared me that one of my children could walk to Walmart and buy a weapon fairly cheap as soon as they turn 18 years of age.
Mental health hospitals were closed down in the '80s and people with severe mental health problems were left to fend for themselves, which is why it’s super important to have gun regulations, not to take away from the responsible gun owners, but to keep them away from irresponsible hands. Example: Canada gives you a safety class and evaluation to be sure that you can be safe to own a gun, even if you simply get a license during hunting season. Safety is key.
Here are a few gun statistics that may surprise you:
We have 36,000 grocery stores in the United States and we also have 129,000 federally licensed fire arm dealers. A gun in the home is responsible for the vast majority of children killed by fire arms. An abused woman is 6 times more likely to be murdered if there is a gun in the home. A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide, homocide or accident that be used in self-defense. The gun lobby groups, the NRA, and the Republican party says, after Gabby Gifford was shot and many others, “now is not the time for gun regulations”. They said the same after Columbine shooting and the Theatre shooting. When is the right time? It would make me very happy, I’m actually begging, if you all got together and made a statement against the gun lobby groups and demand safety by better gun regulations implemented in NH and possibly nationally.
I truly appreciate everything the teachers in the Nashua School System have done for my children! I believe they work hard and are highly underpaid; which is why I appreciate them even more!
(mother of three that attend school in the Nashua School system)