Lee County for Safer Successful Schools (LCSSS), a new non-profit organization, held their first meeting on Monday night at Elydale School in Ewing, Va.
The group was founded by two Elydale employees in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting. Debbie Patterson and Brenda Clonce were discussing the tragedy when they decided it was time to stand up and seek better protection for their students.
“We would like to see different types of safety devices, cameras and School Resource Officers in our schools,” explained Patterson. “So we have formed this (organization) to raise money to provide those to the schools.”
The purpose of Monday night’s meeting was not only to allow the community an opportunity to learn about the organization, but to give them a chance to voice their input as to what they feel needs to be addressed in regards to student safety.
Members of the crowd shared their concerns about school safety at Elydale. One audience member brought up security concerns with the classrooms located in trailers behind the school.
Patterson agreed with the concerned citizen and said the organization had already been discussing possible solutions to the problems.
Patterson referenced the measures taken by Yellow Creek School in Middlesboro. Yellow Creek moved students from their classrooms located in a trailer into the main building soon after the tragedy in Newtown.
The next meeting will be held at Elydale on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. and Patterson encourages all members of the community to participate.
The meeting will address ways to raise money to provide more security measures for Elydale, Thomas Walker and Rose Hill Elementary School.
LCSSS is considering charging a small membership fee of $1 or $2 for those in attendance at the next meeting. If the fee is collected, it will be used to open a bank account for the organization.
The organization also hopes to have volunteers for officers prior to the next meeting. So far the organization only has a President, Patterson and a treasurer, Alan Crockett.
Reina P. Cunningham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-248-1010, ext. 205.