BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Samuel L. Radford III of We the Parents of WNY and District Parent Coordinating Council spoke with News 4 about the new tightened security measures at Buffalo Public Schools. These changes come in the wake of the mass shootings at Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue and at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“Because it happened to children and in a school, it just makes you that much more on edge and concerned about what’s going on with our kids, with out community and with our country,” said Radford.
The tightened Buffalo Public Schools security measures announced on Wednesday morning requires anyone who wants to enter a school building to call ahead and get prior approval. The school district said this includes parents, caregivers, siblings and vendors.
With the new safety measures at Buffalo Public Schools, Radford said that the way the changes were implemented were insensitive and that the school didn’t partner with parents to make this decision.
“I looked around on other websites for other school districts to see if other school districts did the same thing. Why is it only in Buffalo Public School District where you got to call in advance?” said Redford.
Radford said the district has other security measures in places, such as the doors being looked, getting buzzed in and getting searched upon arrival. He doesn’t think parents should need to call in advance.
“I’m concerned that if we’re the City of Good Neighbors, why is the urban school district where we have the highest percentage of people of color, people with low income treated differently than everybody else? If just seems unfair to me,” said Radford.
Radford said there is a disconnect between what parents want and what the school district is offering. He wants the district to bring parents into the conversation before making any big decisions, including tightening security measures. He noted that BPS was the last school to go back to in-person from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Buffalo Public Schools is the last public school district in all of New York State to get back into school last year. We just now were able to come back into the school in March of this year. And now we have the knee-jerk reaction and we’re going to lock parents out?” said Radford.