Granville Rotary to sponsor blood drive May 18

Granville’s Rotary Club will sponsor an American Red Cross blood drive on Monday, May 18, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the American Legion at 10 Columbus St. in Granville.…

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Mettawee School hosts gun violence symposium

Vermont state trooper Bob Zink (second from left) led a four-man team of law enforcement professionals (plus K-9 dog Achilles) in a safety training exercise at the Mettawee Community School.

The faculty and staff at Mettawee Community School practice the advice of the wise Benjamin Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s much easier to plan, prepare and practice precautions than deal with the aftermath of a tragedy.

Gun violence at schools throughout our cities, suburbs and rural communities has risen over the last quarter century. While a shooting incident is still very unlikely, the school always puts student safety as a top priority. “Training is so important. It’s essential that our teachers and staff are prepared in advance,” said Mettawee Community School principal Brooke DeBonis. “We want them to know what to do and how to respond quickly and effectively.”

Toward that goal, in March they hosted a teacher/staff symposium with the Vermont State Police. A team of law enforcement professionals, led by Vermont state trooper Bob Zink, shared their expertise and knowledge of gun violence situations. They described what to expect, how the police will approach an active shooter and safety steps that can be followed by teachers and staff to save lives. The session featured a live demonstration of a police response in a quad or diamond formation, so staff would know what to anticipate during an incident.

“All of us at the Mettawee School welcome visits from law enforcement agencies so our first responders can be familiar with our building and safety plan in case we have an emergency at our school,” said DeBonis. “We appreciate the time spent by the Vermont police helping to keep us safe.”

In addition to the working session with Vermont State Police, Mettaweek Community School has taken other measures to protect its children. New safety locks are on building entrances and classroom doors. Video cameras keep an eye from strategic locations throughout the school. Emergency communication systems with police have been upgraded, and student drills are conducted on a regular basis.

“No one can really predict if and when a violent act might take place,” said Zink. “Teachers and staff must stay alert and take ownership of making their locations safe. Based on the questions and discussions at today’s meeting, I’m confident that Mettawee is prepared for something we all hope will never happen.”

For more information, contact DeBonis at 802-645-9009 or by email at [email protected] (more…)

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Enhanced testing and contact tracing programs announced in Vermont

Vermont governor Phil Scott and members of his administration have announced the state is significantly increasing and strengthening its testing and contact-tracing programs in order to quickly identify, contain and…

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