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Parents fight to re-arm grounds monitors in Saratoga Springs City School District

October 23, 2018 11:24 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Springs City School District’s Board of Education meeting was heated Tuesday night. Parents and some students were fired up over the board’s vote two weeks ago to disarm grounds monitors.

Kara Rosettie handed over a petition to the board of education with more than 1,000 signatures. Rosettie has three sons in the district and created the group Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools after she found out about the board’s vote.

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"On average it is six and a half minutes for the Saratoga Police Department to get to a school after a 911 call,” said Rosettie. “If most mass shootings happen in four to eight minutes how many kids are going to be murdered in six and a half minutes. By having grounds monitors armed you're saving not only minutes but seconds off the clock."

The district has 14 monitors, many of whom are retired law enforcement officers. They differ from School Resource Officers who are active duty police officers or sheriff’s deputies that carry weapons inside the school buildings. The district only has one SRO that is stationed in the high school.

Saratoga Springs City School District Superintendent Michael Patton said the board voted to disarm officers after the district found out it was out of compliance with state law that monitors cannot carry weapons without board approval.

"The outcome of this vote does not imply that the Board of Education does not value or support creating a safe learning environment for all of our children,” said Superintendent Michael Patton.

Also expressing their concern over the board’s vote was a police officer and student. Some who support disarming monitors said more guns doesn't mean a safer environment at school. One parent Tuesday night told the board to stand firm on its decision and if the community wants more officers in the school, they should look at adding SRO’s.

The Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools said if the board will not overturn its vote, then they would like a report from the school on what the Saratoga Springs Police Department as well as the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office had to say about disarming monitors when the school discussed it with them.

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Emily De Vito

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