Dear Parents and Guardians,
Providing a safe educational environment for Voorheesville Central School District students and staff remains one of our top priorities. Recently, the board of education passed a resolution requiring me to communicate with our school community about the importance of safe gun storage.
We are all aware of incidents of gun violence in our surrounding communities and nationwide. A national survey by the Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of teens are concerned that there will be a shooting in their school. At VCSD, we are committed to taking concrete steps to alleviate those fears by investing in state-of-the-art safety equipment at all our schools and providing safety training to all staff and students.
This outreach on safe gun storage is another component of our commitment to safety.
Studies of school-based gun violence point to a significant point of intervention—addressing unauthorized access to guns in the home. For example, a Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center study of targeted school violence incidents from 2008 to 2017 found that 76 percent of the firearms used in those incidents were obtained from the home of a parent or close relative.
Unsecured guns in the home pose a risk to students beyond gun violence in schools. These risks involve unintentionally shooting themselves or someone else and suicide through the use of a firearm.
New York state laws require that guns remain safely secured and inaccessible to those not permitted to possess them. While parents and guardians may believe their child(ren) cannot access the gun(s) in their home, history has proven that, too often, this is not the case.
While many factors are involved in the tragedy of gun violence involving students, securing firearms is one easy step for prevention. An additional resource is available to any family in crisis in Albany County. The Albany County Sheriff’s Office will hold onto firearms for safekeeping during emergencies, such as domestic violence incidents or mental health struggles. Contact the sheriff’s office for more information.
Keeping our students safe is our number one priority, and we appreciate your partnership in this effort to ensure everyone’s safety.