Education

Security Firm at Odds With Values of Many in North Hills Community

By Sister Mary Traupman

Trib Media, 3-28-18:

“The North Allegheny School District canceled a training session scheduled for March 28 by its security consultant after a parent complained about posts the company’s owner [Sam Rosenberg] made on social media, according to the superintendent…” [company is INPAX]

How the program was originally described:

NA School Safety Information Night

“…Join us to gain insight on the training staff members receive from INPAX, learn what the District is currently doing and has done in the past regarding security in its buildings, find out about assistance provided to students, and hear from the three police departments that serve NA.”

[No mention of guns and shooting]

The Post-Gazette, 3-28-18

“The North Allegheny School District has called off active-shooting training for parents tonight after ‘inappropriate’ social media posts by the company, according to the district’s website.

“North Allegheny is reconsidering its partnership with the contractor, Pittsburgh-based INPAX, which has worked with the district for several years, according to the message on the district’s website…

“North Allegheny nixed the training after some parents raised concerns about the company with the district and school board and described the posts as ’violent, homophobic and anti-Muslim.’

The parents asked not to be identified because of concerns for their safety.”

[The most significant statement noted above is, “The parents asked not to be identified because of concerns for their safety.”]

Does this suggest that INPAX and its founder Sam Rosenberg may be threatening? Does this raise the question about a proper role model for our students today?

Memo from School to parents and community partners, 4-5-18

“…There is also deep concern related to the language surrounding the owner’s assertion that he can train teachers to ‘spot the wolves.’ His [Rosenberg’s] assertion is that precursors to violence in children are ‘as predictable as boiling water.’ Not only is this language dehumanizing, but all current research by experts in the field of child psychology, psychiatry, and medicine points to the contrary. To date, neither NA nor the owner of INPAX have been able to provide evidence of any training or qualifications that would suggest that the owner of INPAX is an appropriate person to teach faculty and staff how to recognize ‘true warning indicators that a student may become violent,’ as stated in the advertising materials provided to parents and the community by North Allegheny.”

All of the above quotes from the media and from the school district pointed out a number of problems with this entire venture. Who could dispute the need for safety training? However, INPAX held the position that safety training must include training in shooting a gun. INPAX supported the notion that one can never be truly safe unless one has a gun. Their flawed conclusion: the only way a society can be safe is to arm every single person, and teach that person how to shoot.  Given this fundamental disconnect between the firm and many residents of the school district, North Allegheny and INPAX mutually agreed to go their separate ways in mid-April.

Related is a controversy over the construction of a shooting range at McCandless Crossing by INPAX. McCandless Crossing is a development of worship site, hotel, restaurants and other places of business and residences. McCandless Crossing is in walking distance of a number of worship sites, a hospital, a college, as well as an elementary school, pre-K through eight, which is less than 1000 feet of the shooting range.

The building at issue is an office building. The Town of McCandless issued a building permit for an office building. Over time this office building became the site of a shooting range, instead of an office building with tenants. McCandless Crossing doesn’t have enough parking as it is, and is very thickly populated with businesses. The nearest neighbor is a church with a very large parking lot. Will INPAX attempt to use the church lot as parking for their venture? A final determination in the best interest of the citizens of McCandless and the students in the North Allegheny school district must be made. The determination must also be in the best interest of the Sisters of Divine Providence and Providence Heights Alpha School, located directly across the street. The Sisters are very upset about having a shooting range in their front yard, on property that was once owned by the Congregation, and whose street address is Providence Boulevard.

Suggestion: go to the Town of McCandless website and view the meeting video of the meeting of July 17, 2017, including a presentation by Sam Rosenberg and the town council. The meeting was well attended by people wearing NRA hats. Begin at about 50 minutes.

Sister Mary Traupman is a Sister of Divine Providence who is very concerned about the proliferation of guns, and the influence of the NRA.

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