School safety is a community issue

NLJ Staff


Safety within our schools has been a hot topic within Newcastle and Weston County with the reported number of threats and incidents within our schools seeming to increase steadily. From claims of a lack of transparency to complete ignorance when it comes to the issue, local parents have pushed back against the local entities that are charged with keeping youth safe. 

A cumulative conversation on Monday evening at the Newcastle City Council was the result of this push, and concerned parents approached the council asking for help, answers and a way to move toward keeping children in the community safe. 

The result of this conversation, at the suggestion of Mayor Deb Piana, is a committee that she says should consist of community members, parents, school administration, Weston County School District No. 1 trustees, members of the Newcastle City Council, commissioners seated on the Weston County Commission as well as law enforcement from both the Newcastle Police Department and Weston County Sheriff’s Office. The News Letter Journal also thinks that homeland security should be invited to the table to
share ideas.

The goal of this committee will be to discuss the appropriate solutions to the safety issue within local schools. 

Parents have suggested a constant police presence in the schools in Weston County School District No. 1, and we feel that Sheriff Bryan Colvard said it best when he spoke to the Weston County Commissioners on Jan. 7. 

“The School Resource Officer was a one-shoe-fits-all solution, and we know in our small community that is not always the best avenue.” 

Colvard stressed that the safety of students and children within this community is not just an issue for schools and law enforcement, but for the entire community —  and we couldn’t agree more. He was adamant that the need to address this issue be taken on by people of all walks of life, because the need for “fresh ideas and boots on the ground” is important. 

We want to encourage those who have ideas to please speak up and share them. We want to applaud those who shared ideas during the Newcastle City Council meeting, including the idea of utilizing not only police officers but also veterans to help fill the void of officers within schools. 

We also want to greatly encourage Weston County School District No. 1 to consider the suggestion of Piana and find potential office space for officers within the school to use when they are able to. This will not only help put that presence in the schools, but allow for multiple agencies and people to fill the void without being reliant on only the school district, city or county. 


News Letter Journal

News Letter Journal
14 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 40
Newcastle, WY 82701
Ph: (307) 746-2777
Fax: (307) 746-2660

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