UPDATE — School safety forum postponed

UPDATE March 7 8:36 a.m. — The school security informations session originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, has been postponed to Thursday, March 8 due to the expected winter storm. Original story continues below 

Original story March 1, 11:25 a.m. — Something feels different in the response to the latest school shooting in Florida. The response has a different feel, for reasons that First Selectman Vicki Tesoro and others can only hypothesize on.

“I don’t know why, but there is this feeling that maybe we have reached a tipping point where enough is enough,” Tesoro said Tuesday. “This seems to have really struck a chord in people.”

In response to the Florida shootings, communities across the country have begun organizing, with community gatherings and student demonstrations. Both types of events are happening in Trumbull, too, with a school security information session March 7 at 7 p.m. at Madison Middle School. Trumbull High also is planning a student demonstration March 14 on the school’s football field.

Tesoro speculated that the national response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shootings, in which 17 people died, could be due to a number of factors. It occured in a high school in an age when students have access to social media. The well-known Columbine High School shootings, in which Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris murdered 13 students, took place before the Internet was as pervasive as it is today. The more recent Sandy Hook massacre targeted much younger children.

“I think the fact that students inside the school were using social media to describe the scene, and sending out videos and goodbye messages to their parents, it really brought it home in a way that every parent could think about what it would be like to send their child to school, and then a few hours later get that kind of text message from them,” Tesoro said. “People have the sense that we can’t let this keep happening.”

The March 7 session is primarily intended to allow students and parents to voice their concerns and pose questions to town and school officials and police Chief Michael Lombardo. Parents will have a chance to get information, though some information will be intentionally vague, so parents should not expect to be told where the security cameras are located or to learn the details of the police department’s response plan.

At the high school level, students and staff are collaborating on a planned demonstration March 14. Student posts on Instagram under the name we_speakout promise a “thoughtful, engaging demonstration to bring attention to the national conversation surrounding acts of gun violence in schools.”

Students will walk out of class to the football field, where they will hear from public officials, other students, and those affected by tragedies.

“We will have the chance to reflect on how our community can come together to ensure that our schools are secure, and that our lawmakers hear the voices and opinions of everyone they represent,” according to the post.

School officials, including Superintendent Gary Cialfi and Principal Marc Guarino, confirmed the event but said details were still be arranged.

More information when available.