The following is a press release. It is published as received.
Framingham Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer and Superintendent Dr. Robert Tremblay along with the City of Framingham’s Student Advisory Committee, City Council, and School Committee today announce the issuance of a joint resolution. This resolution, approved 11-0 by the City Council on March 6 and 9-0 by the School Committee March 12 calls for the prioritization of the safety and security of students and school employees and recognizes the March 14th national recognition on this topic including a local student led ceremony scheduled at Framingham High School.
“The debate of gun control continues, however the most important aspect of this resolution is Framingham as a community commits to ensuring the safety of our students and residents. We are choosing to take proactive steps and communicate a unified message. As the mayor of Framingham, I am pleased to jointly sign this resolution with the Framingham City Council, School Committee and Students,” said Mayor Yvonne Spicer.
Dr. Tremblay and the city’s elected officials coordinated with Framingham’s Student Advisory Committee on this resolution as a way to partner with students and allow their voices to be heard. By doing so, this created a civics and advocacy education opportunity, allowing students to see the impact of their activism in affecting change. The Student Advisory Committee is comprised of six elected high school students. The chairman of this group Ohad Klopman is an ex-officio member of the Framingham School Committee.
“As students, we are deeply aware and concerned with our safety and our security throughout the school day,” said Ohad Klopman, Framingham High School Senior and Chair of the Student Advisory Committee. “We understand that the discussion concerning gun control is sensitive, but as we continue to push to the wayside debate on gun control, our academic well-being makes no improvement. We must make certain that those who should not have guns never get them, and those who use their arms responsibly are given the services they need to continue to do so. We thank the Framingham City Council, School Committee, and Mayor for their continued support. The time for change is now.”
The Framingham Public Schools have prioritized improving safety and security efforts, educator and staff professional development, mental health supports, available tools to reduce student stress and anxiety, and focused efforts on better connecting and communicating with students, and will continue to reflect school safety as a priority in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget. Last night at the School Committee meeting the committee voted to support the investment of $200,000 for school infrastructure projects in support of multiple security camera upgrades to enhance the already robust system at all schools. Also last night Superintendent Dr. Tremblay outlined his plans for the Framingham Public School’s Director of Safety and Security position.
“Before we can expect our students to engage in learning, we must give them assurance that their school environment is safe and secure,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Robert A. Tremblay. “When parents leave their children at our door each day, there is an expectation that they are safe in our schools. We take that responsibility very seriously and must commit resources to deliver on that expectation. We are committed to exactly that effort in the Framingham Public Schools.”
“It is heartwarming to see our students mobilizing to express their deep concerns and convictions on school safety and gun violence,” said Dennis Giombetti, Chair of the Framingham City Council. “It is my hope that this becomes a community effort. The City Council stands firmly behind the intent and language of the joint resolution and proud to be part of it.”
“The impact of our students’ collective voices joining together with our Superintendent, Mayor, and elected leadership is a way to drive transformational and meaningful change,” said Adam Freudberg, Chair of the Framingham School Committee. “I want the youth of Framingham to see that local government is where we can react appropriately, at a proper pace, and make tangible progress to benefit them and their community. This resolution offers us all an opportunity to take a stand on what we believe in, while also showing the staff who work in our schools that we value and appreciate all they do for our community.”
Joint Resolution on School Safety and Security and Gun Violence Prevention by the City of Framingham’s Student Advisory Committee, Mayor, Superintendent, City Council, and School Committee
- Several recent gun-related tragedies involving schools and public venues where children and adults have been harmed have, once again, demanded that we focus on school safety and security;
- We recognize that it may be impossible to identify every potentially dangerous individual, but we believe that reasonable and practical national, state, and local policies for school safety can reduce the threat of violence and use of weapons, particularly firearms;
- We recognize that public safety includes not only school and law enforcement action, but also the support of a network of public health, social services, and family resources and personnel. The safety of all students and school personnel requires the coordinated work of educators, counselors, health care providers, public safety officers, and community leaders;
- National incidents create opportunities to act as well as provide real world life examples and opportunities for civics education and advocacy. These events should not be the only drivers to engage in conversations;
- The impact of our students’ collective voices is a way to drive transformational and meaningful change; and
- The Framingham Public Schools has prioritized improving school safety and security efforts, educator and staff professional development, mental health supports, available tools to reduce student stress and anxiety, and focused efforts on better connecting and communicating with students, and will continue to reflect school safety as a priority in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
- That the Framingham Student Advisory Committee, Mayor, Superintendent, City Council, and School Committee together call upon the United States Congress and state legislatures, including the Massachusetts State Legislature, to prioritize the protection of students and school system employees by passing legislation that more effectively regulates access to firearms in the interest of public safety, funds public-health research on firearms-related issues, supports enhancements to school safety infrastructure, and advances mental health supports.
- Further, we recognize the scheduled March 14, 2018 national recognition on this topic, and support the efforts of Framingham school administrators to offer appropriate ways for students and staff who choose to participate.
Framingham Student Advisory Committee
Dr. Yvonne M. Spicer, Mayor
Dr. Robert Tremblay, Superintendent of Schools
Framingham City Council
Framingham School Committee
March 12, 2018