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Schools vs. Cops: Parent Takes Sides

Weston police might think the schools are unsafe, but Nadine Kerns, a PTO president, thinks safety is not a problem despite the war of words between the Police Commission and the Board of Education.

"When I read the comments last week, I felt that they were really unjust because I'm in the schools a lot and I've never sensed that there's a safety issue at all, " said Kerns, the former PTO president of the intermediate school and current president of the middle school's group.

Police Chief John Troxell spoke at a Sept. 7 commission meeting about the lack of communication between the schools and the police, saying information is slipping through the cracks that should be passed to police. Troxell cited an incident in which a third-grader brought a box cutter to school, which was not reported to police.

"I really feel that the administrators handled it appropriately," said Kerns. "It was a young student, and I think they dealt with it within the confines of the school. ... I don't think that they should have called the police."

At a school board meeting last week, Troxell defended his statements, saying that although the incident might not warrant an arrest, police should have been notified to monitor the situation and because they might know whether there is a history of family violence.

However, Kerns said, reporting incidents to police such as the behavior of former bus driver Scott Deicas , who was transferred out of town, may have been helpful. Deicas was removed from Weston because of yelling at children and for telling a young student she was dressed inappropriately, not for dangerous reasons. He was later arrested after a 10-hour standoff with police and after making threats against Weston officials.

"I think in this particular case, in hindsight, yes probably the police should've been called. ... But what seems to have happened is that parents made lots of complaints and concerns, but they weren't calling the right people," said Kerns.

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