More police at Westport schools through end of the year

Aubin also seeks state funding for officers next year, in wake of Texas school shooting

By Ted Hayes
Posted 6/1/22

With fewer than 20 days left in the school year, officials are moving quickly to beef up security at district schools following the shooting that left 19 students and two teachers at a Texas …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


More police at Westport schools through end of the year

Aubin also seeks state funding for officers next year, in wake of Texas school shooting

Posted

With fewer than 20 days left in the school year, officials are moving quickly to beef up security at district schools following the shooting that left 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school dead  last week.

Superintendent Thomas Aubin met Friday with Police Chief George Pelletier and Westport Town Administrator James Hartnett to schedule ongoing police presences at all local schools through the remainder of the year. Aubin has also reached out to Rep. Paul Schmid and Senator Michael Rodriguges, requesting state funding or grants to pay for a police presence in schools during the 2022-23 school year.

Though the funding for this year's presence still needs to be ironed out, "we felt that the parental, staff and student angst ... did not provide us the luxury of time," Aubin said. "We will work collaboratively to fund this."

The shooting at Robb Elementary School hit Aubin hard, he wrote in a letter to parents sent the night of the shooting.

"As a school administrator for over 20 years, I have unfortunately indirectly witnessed numerous school shootings that have taken place throughout the country over the past two decades," he wrote. "Each shooting scars the souls of all school leaders and parents. We realize that it is difficult to prevent a disturbed individual from harming students and staff, even under the best of circumstances, once they have committed to taking action. (But) we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our children and staff safe."

Those actions have been in place for some time, he said. Over the course of this school year and previous terms, the district has conducted ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate) drills, and Aubin said he will meet with Westport police Lt. Johnny Couto and his team to re-emphasize safety protocols while making improvements where needed.

As keeping kids and staff safe is the responsibility of every resident, he said, staff will be informed about its role in keeping the schools safe, and parents will also be notified about any changes that occur, and how they can be part of the solution.

 

2022 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.