News that Peanut Butter Bandit Frederick Merrill was moving to town created quite a bit of buzz, including from parents who were concerned about the safety of their children while they are at or on their way to or from school.
“I'm worried about our schools,” one reader wrote on the Tolland Patch Facebook page. “Extra security, please.”
That was a popular sentiment.
Others aren’t thrilled about it, but know that there are other factors involved.
“There have been plenty in town and in our surrounding lines,” another reader wrote. “With that said, how many have trusted your child to a dr, or a public leader and has proven to be inappropriate? I'm not happy with this decision either but everyone should have the “talk” with your children. Tell them to not walk and text so that they can be aware of their surroundings. Teach them the “buddy” system. Make this your responsibility to keep your children safe!”
She continued, “I totally agree that is too close to schools especially since kids walk home from THS but our knowledge has to be put with our kids. The school systems are in such a disarray with bombs, drugs, security, etc. as we all know. And I'm not saying just our town but all towns. I feel the school system needs a full time team to just focus on children’s safety but that brings back to budget.”
Superintendent of Schools William Guzman said that the schools won’t do anything differently because of this new resident and that there are already policies in place when it comes to registered sex offenders.
He said that every time the district receives notification that an offender will be moving to the area, an update is posted on the school district Web site. Residents can go to the site and look for the Connecticut sex registry link. Whenever a new offender has come to the area, it will say “update” and have the date.
Clicking on that link will bring the resident to the Connecticut state sex offender registry. From there, an address can be entered and a resident will be able to see the offenders – with their names and photographs – who are in the area. The offenders’ addresses – home, work/volunteer, and school – are also listed.