Increased police presence at schools to ease parental concerns of safety

BENTON (Saline Courier) - Late afternoon Saturday, Benton School District Superintendent Jeff Collum sent a message via telephone to hundreds of local residents to assure them that school district officials take the safety of their children seriously.

Collum was aware that many were focused on news accounts from Friday's school shootings in Newtown, Conn., which took the lives of 20 children.

The tragic mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary, which also cost the lives of six adults, once again put the issue of school safety back into the spotlight, and Collum realized the importance of communicating with residents.

"I just want to reassure parents that our schools are safe to return to and I hope that we are able to alleviate the stress and tension of parents," he told KATV news partner The Saline Courier Monday. "I'm a parent myself, so I know what many are feeling. I want everyone to know that our schools are extremely safe. To help ease tensions, we are having an increased police presence at all of our schools through this week."

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