Letter: Police at Williamstown Elementary

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To the Editor:

The Williamstown DIversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity (DIRE) committee is certainly living up to its acronymic nickname and is itself in serious danger of becoming dire. The committee, which ironically lacks diversity in its membership, has engaged in mischaracterization of the entire Williamstown Police Department and has shown a lack of respect for due process. But now it has seemingly taken a stance that would be ludicrous were it not downright dangerous. I am referring to its statements in protest of a police presence on school grounds.

When it came time for us to enroll our, non-Caucasian child at Williamstown Elementary School, I was relieved to see police on duty at the start and close of each school day. In our post-Sandy Hook, post-Parkland, et al, nation, I would think that every level-headed citizen would welcome the sight of an officer as a deterrent to a violence that is greater in its impact than misgivings about an officer's POTENTIAL racism.

As I got to see the officers at work for the past couple of years, I became further impressed at their welcoming kindness to the children and their efforts to dispel the notion that an officer is a person to fear. They have been excellent role models. If our children were ever jeopardized at WES, there is no doubt in my mind that our police would put themselves in harm's way to protect them.

Further, the police are there to maintain safety in what could otherwise be a dangerous situation with the great amount of traffic, drivers who ignore rules, and little persons bobbing between cars.

I am not convinced that there is a pandemic of racism at the WPD, however, I am beginning to think that there are pandemics of hyperbole, illogic and/or blindness, if not stupidity, in other quarters. And such reactionary far-left responses do much to help insidious causes of the far-right.

Ralph Hammann
Williamstown, Mass.



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Mount Greylock School Committee: No Need to Gauge Community Support for Fields Project

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Without an actionable measure to vote, the Mount Greylock School Committee on Thursday spent nearly an hour talking about the athletic field decision that will be left to the next iteration of the panel.
And three members blocked a proposal to collect data to help inform that decision.
The committee learned Thursday that its architects had not yet given the district a price for drafting new detailed design documents needed for a request for proposals to do upgrades to Mount Greylock's athletic fields.
Those same architects also advised the committee not to review potential "value engineering" deductions from the project or follow a proposal to put out simultaneous RFPs for a synthetic turf field and a natural grass field.
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