NORWALK, Conn. – Councilman David Watts (D-District A) stood next to Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra Friday, expressing concern about what happened at Cranbury Elementary School this week.
While Mangiacopra slammed Mayor Richard Moccia and mentioned other politicians, Watts stayed focused on the issue.
“As a parent we never want to get the call that something could occur at a school,” he said. “I believe that Norwalk has the finest men and women in uniform, both police and fire, in the country and they did their job well. Norwalk needs to create a system that helps alert parents and inform them when issues like this occur in the school system. I couldn’t imagine what the kids and the teachers and the support staff at the school might have been going through. It’s terrible. From all accounts the staff at Cranbury School handled themselves well. We have a wonderful city here. We need to make sure that our schools are safe. Thank God no one was hurt in the whole incident.”
Parents had asked him what happens in an emergency, he said.
“This is also about getting this conversation started,” he said. “For me, there are times when I engage in politics. This right now is not one of them. Not this time. I just feel like, if it was politics I would not beat around the bush. People know me, I do not shy away from a fight. … The one thing I will not do is politicize something. I was just speaking as a parent.”
Watts said he was reminded at the shooting incident in June 2012 near Jefferson Elementary School. Both Jefferson and Kendall Elementary School, where his son goes, went into lockdown.
He did not mention the mayor, but when asked about the photo Mangiacopra posted on Facebook of the mayor cutting the ribbon at the Oyster Festival as the school was on lockdown, he said he laughed when he saw it — not because it was a joke, but, “The irony of it. Two alternative universes happening. That’s the way I see it. Obviously mayors have to cut ribbons. … There’s two things happening at the same time. I just think for people who are parents who are not concerned who is going to win what in an election, they are concerned about kids. Like when they had the shooting over at Kendall School. My wife was freaking out.”