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Watts calls for better communication during school emergencies

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.”

Comments

11 responses to “Watts calls for better communication during school emergencies”

  1. Norwalk Spectator

    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.
    .
    So because the Mayor was scheduled to cut the ribbon at an event, he should cancel because there was a report of possible gun shots and not canceling means that he doesn’t care about the kids? To me, that’s a stretch.
    .
    Regarding the Kendall School shooting…well, just to refresh everyone’s memory, here’s the link to the story
    .
    http://norwalk.dailyvoice.com/police-fire/norwalk-police-search-kendall-school-shooting-suspect
    .
    I’m sorry to hear Mr. Watts’ wife was freaked out, but January 13th happened to be a Sunday, a day when school was not in session. No students or staff were in danger at any time.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @ Norwalk Spectator

      Jan. 13 was, indeed, a Sunday, but Mr. Watts said he was talking about a June 2012 shooting, which did, in fact, happen on a school day and resulted in lockdowns at Kendall, Jefferson and Ponus.

      Police investigate shooting on Grandview Avenue, lockdown Ponus, Jefferson and Kendall schools

  2. SJ

    @ Norwalk Spectator,

    It looks like two different shootings. One shooting during the school day and another after school hours. Unreal!

    Mrs. Watts has a right to send her child to school without the fear of violence. Just because the school is closed does not mean a parent should not be concerned. Do you have children in the Norwalk school system?

    Andy, also lives in this neighborhood and he will fight to clean this up.

    ww.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Norwalk-police-investigating-shooting-3602585.php

    http://www.thehour.com/news/norwalk/police-investigate-shooting-on-grandview-avenue-lockdown-ponus-jefferson-and/image_ccacfed7-1786-568b-bb45-560125ba738f.html

  3. M Allen

    “For me, there are times when I engage in politics. This right now is not one of them.”
    .
    You were standing at a press conference next to a guy engaging in politics. Thus you were engaging in politics, regardless of how you want to counch your words.

  4. NorwalkLifer

    The fact that Moccia went to the ribbon cutting almost immediately after hearing about the Cranbury lockdown is appalling. He went and took his picture and THEN communicated with parents hours later. Unacceptable to say the least.
    ..
    Glad Councilman Watts is holding Mayor Moccia accountable.

  5. Edward G

    This doesn’t sound political to me. If two different shootings occured near my kids school I would be upset too.

    @ Norwalk spectator,

    A shooting occurs when the school is closed and parents should not be concerned? What are you smoking? Watts is speaking as a dad.

    Trashing concerned parents is the norm in Norwalk. Why?

  6. NorwalkVoter

    #Watts – lots of hot air. So anxious to be relevant.

  7. Norwalk Spectator

    Mark, thanks for the link. I did two searches on the Internet (Google once and Yahoo once) and the only story that came up was the January 2013 story.

  8. Bill

    Watts, about as unpolitical during a tragedy as Mangiacopra, these guys make me sick, how low will they stoop?

  9. SJ

    Bill,

    “Watts, about as unpolitical during a tragedy as Mangiacopra, these guys make me sick, how low will they stoop?” Really? Parents have to put up with this nonsense every time they speak out. Norwalk Spectator tried to play a game of gotcha by posting the Jan 13 shooting and had no clue about the shooting that locked down several schools.

    Rilling supporters are really starting to behave like the Moccia regime. I am supporting Andy Garfunkel because he will give parents better and safer schools.

  10. RC Castro

    Keeping children’s safety in a full effort is a must. they are the most vulnerable individual in the community, they must be protected and taken care of. We must always keep safe and secure in any way especially our children. http://safekidzone.com/#!/page.

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