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Keeping Our Kids Safe: Life after Parkland, FL

Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 4:09 PM

Columbine. Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Three schools with one thing in common… students and adults killed in a place they should have been safe. Our nation was shocked in 1999, in 2012 and again earlier this month when these deadly massacres took place. How could this have happened and what, if anything, could have been done differently to keep something like this from happening again?

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy has invited members of law enforcement, school administrators, the mental health community and municipal leaders to a special forum to talk about that. “Keeping our Kids Safe: Life after Parkland, FL” will be a panel discussion that will explore the critical issues of safety in our schools. The answer is not simply locking the doors and more metal detectors but the challenges and pressures on our leaders to address mental health challenges, see the early warning signs and be able to provide the appropriate counseling.

The discussion is co-sponsored by the University at Albany and will be held on Friday, March 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the University at Albany’s Campus Center Boardroom. It will be moderated by Dr. Kim Young Wilkins, Assistant Commissioner for Innovation and School Reform, NYS Education Department. The goal is to have a conversation that will identify ways to improve our current systems and minimize the fear students now face while attending school.

Panelists include Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Sr., Acting Albany Police Chief Robert Sears, Colonie Deputy Police Chief Michael Woods, Associate Professor for the School of Psychology at the College of Saint Rose and NY Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) Past President Andrew Shanock, Albany County Mental Health Director Dr. Stephen Giordano, Albany County Dept. for Children and Youth and Families Deputy Commissioner Moira Manning, Office of School Operations and Management Services Associate Commissioner, NYS Education Department Renee L. Rider, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Superintendent Dr. Brian Bailey and Forest Park Elementary School Principal, Jill Penn and several high school students. Questions from the audience will be facilitated by Colonie Central High School Associate Principal Thomas Kachadurian.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy