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Gananda parents share concerns after middle school lockdown



Gananda, New York – On Tuesday, an eighth-grader has been charged with making a false report — accused of lying to authorities Friday about a person with a gun inside the Gananda Middle School.

Despite some tense moments, during and after the lockdown, parents are said to be grateful for the actions of the police and teachers last week.

Parents called for more safety changes in a meeting with school board members Tuesday.

According to Jacqie Pentland, she was happy with the response to last Friday, but says “I almost died inside.” The mom of a 4-year-old preschooler who attends Gananda schools says she’s still anxious. “Terrified,” Pentland said. “I really hope our legislature and those in a position to make a difference take a look at what it takes to keep our kids safe. I don’t want to feel what I felt over the past couple of weeks.”

In order to learn more about safety improvements and changes that Superintendent Dr. Shawn van Scoy says are in the works, she and other parents attended a meeting with Gananda school board members. “There are some hiccups along the way,” he said. “We’re having conversations about improving the cell phone system and how to respond and engage in cell phones and how to improve our walkie-talkie systems and improve our lock systems for our door locks.”

On Tuesday evening, the meeting was closed to press, but Van Scoy also expected to hear more parents call for full-time school resources.

There was only a part-time resource officer on duty prior to Friday’s incident. Since Friday Van Scoy says there has been a permanent law enforcement presence on campus. van Scoy says safety conversations will continue throughout the summer.