Senator Jabour Calls for Increased School Safety, Criticizes Opponents on LIVE

Sunday, September 09, 2018


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Senator Paul Jabour

Just one day after a Providence student was shot and killed outside the Providence Career and Technical Academy, District Five Senator Paul Jabour said measures need to be taken to ensure students are safe.

"I'm proposing for a statewide, centralized 911 lockdown system for schools," Jabour said on GoLocal LIVE. "The system would be well-designed for a state of our size."

The plan would work by automatically locking down a school when a threat is called into the centralized 911 system within a certain distance. Doors and windows would be locked down, with the goal of making sure students are secure faster. 

"Ideally, this would happen before the school even really knows what's happening outside. We need to make sure that anyone who isn't supposed to be at the school -- either inside or outside -- doesn't get in."

The program would require major technological upgrades to schools, which Jabour hopes would be included under funds already set aside for school renovations.

Jabour also encouraged increased patrols in school common areas and grounds.

"I hate to say patrols, but that's what they are," Jabour said. "We need to make sure our students are safe."

Jabour added that the issue is not necessarily rooted in increased gun control laws.

"We can legislate a lot of things, but we need to focus on educating young people to nip this issue in the bud," Jabour said. "We've passed some great gun controls measures this past year, but there's only so much we can do in the State House. People will always try to get guns who shouldn't have them."

When speaking of the upcoming Democratic primary on September 12, Jabour said both of his opponents, Sam Bell and Nick Autiello, have run on extremely negative platforms and lied about his time in office.

"I've never supported legislation offering tax cuts to the rich, so I don't know why both keep saying that's the case. I have supported changing estate taxes, but that's for dead people. The changes were made so good, hardworking Rhode Islanders wouldn't have to pay high taxes as the surviving spouse or family of someone who died. This shows how little my opponents really know of the process," Jabour said.

Jabour continued that he did not support cuts to Medicaid as part of this year's state budget, as claimed by his opponents.

"I worked to reduce those cuts through amendments to the state budget, and helped restore that funding," Jabour said. "Both have chosen to only focus on the first draft of the budget, not what actually went through."


Related Slideshow: Leaders React to Murder of 15-Year Old Providence Student

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Nick Hemond, Chair of the Providence School Committee

“This is an unspeakable tragedy and my deepest thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the family of the young boy who lost his life in this senseless act of violence. As a father, I cannot imagine the pain they are going through.

I have been in contact with our Superintendent who has been on scene and working with Chief Clements and the Providence Police Department. We are confident that this is an isolated tragedy and want all parents to be assured that our schools will be safe and in session tomorrow. We will have an increased police presence at the schools in the area of the incident so our families and employees feel as safe as possible.

Superintendent Maher has already put the necessary emotional supports in place at the school level to help our kids, faculty and staff get through this painful time. I want to thank the Providence Police and the first responders for their efforts today and our faculty and staff who stayed after school today to be with and comfort their students in dealing with this horrifying crime.”

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Diane "Dee Dee" Witman, Independent Candidate for Mayor

“Nothing could be worse,” Witman said, “then when a child goes to school in the morning and does not come home in the afternoon.”

Witman hopes the community will allow the Providence police to conduct their investigation without interference.

Witman wants the people of Providence to know that her team is developing a comprehensive plan to ensure that a national trend does not become a local reality.

"During a time of trauma, Witman recognizes the added stress students and their families will feel. It is under these unfortunate circumstances that teachers will experience an even greater burden in supporting their students and families. It is more imperative than ever that teachers feel supported by city leadership. When Witman is elected Mayor she will ensure fair contract agreements and a safer city for all. Violence in or around Providence schools is unacceptable for any city leader to allow."

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Robert DeRobbio, Democratic Candidate for Governor

"In the wake of today’s tragedy our thoughts and prayers are with Providence’s students, teachers and their families. This is not a time for political grandstanding; it is a time for grieving and supporting our community."  

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Kobi Dennis, Democratic Candidate for Mayor

"On our second day back to school, our students have to experience tragedy. While on the scene of the shooting at PCTA, another shooting occurred. City leaders continue to profess violence is down in the city by putting out numbers that are never checked. I check the numbers by talking to the people impacted and today is no different. I spoke with an emotional classmate that was furious about the lack of safety in the city. He said, "They only come around when something bad happens." We need to connect better with the communities to lessen these preventable tragedies. The Providence Fire Department has to come and physically wash the human blood off of the school sign. Explain that in the numbers. Explain that to the families." 

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Luis Vargas, candidate for State Representative

Vargas posted to Facebook, “This is not the start to the school year we all had hoped for.  My prayers are with the victim's family, but prayers are not enough. We need to ensure our schools are completely secure NOW and that this CANNOT happen again.”

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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza


"This is a devastating tragedy for the family and for our city. I am heartbroken for the family of the victim and for the students and adults who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy. This type of violence will not be accepted in our city and we will come together as a community to support the victim's family."

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Maribeth Calabro

"In light of today’s tragic shootings and the death of a sophomore at Central High School, the Executive Board unanimously voted to suspend Work to Rule for the next two days. The teachers and students at Central and PCTA have endured a horrific tragedy and need our collective strength and support. We are a community and need to come together at this time. Our students and teachers need to feel safe. We do not know the reason why this tragedy occurred but our hope is that is never happens again. Our focus, over the coming days, is the comfort and healing of our colleagues and our students.
The principals at Central and PCTA will be holding emergency staff meetings before school tomorrow morning, where safety procedures and supports available will be discussed. 
Again, Work to Rule is suspended for the next two days and will resume on September 13, 2018. Please remember that Friday is still solidarity day.
Our heartfelt prayers go out to the families, teachers and students impacted by today’s tragedy."


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