The New Face of Safety in Weedsport Schools

Officer Brandy Quiqley takes over as School Patrol Officer

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The New Face of Safety in Weedsport Schools

Officer Quigley takes a moment out of her day to share a smile with Weedsport freshmen Maddie Higgins and Brooklyn Smith.

Officer Quigley takes a moment out of her day to share a smile with Weedsport freshmen Maddie Higgins and Brooklyn Smith.

Jocelyn Kepple

Officer Quigley takes a moment out of her day to share a smile with Weedsport freshmen Maddie Higgins and Brooklyn Smith.

Jocelyn Kepple

Jocelyn Kepple

Officer Quigley takes a moment out of her day to share a smile with Weedsport freshmen Maddie Higgins and Brooklyn Smith.

Monty Steinman, Staff Member

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To open 2019, Weedsport Central Schools welcomed former Auburn Police officer Brandy Quigley to the newfound position of district-wide School Patrol Officer. Quigley has been acting in this position for more than a month now; and students, staff, as well as parents, are already noticing differences. Students have refrained from being shy to her presence; some noting there’s a feeling of security; others say intimidation. Both stances are without a doubt an appropriate reaction to such authority; an authority of which that has never quite been felt within the district by students before.

Teachers obviously provide a hierarchy to students as their superiors, but having an official entity who possesses the power to lawfully seize items, or even apprehend those who pose threats to the greater good is unquestionably a reality check to mischievous students and peace of mind to students who abide by the rules. Quigley says she isn’t here to scare or anyone; instead she is simply here to enforce the security of the buildings, and maintain the welfare of the children. Weedsport has long been praised for its excellence among staff and students, and by having an officer to prevent any major outbreaks from occurring, only furthers Weedsport’s image as a safe and healthy environment for young learners.

Staff members have also noted Quigley’s arrival. Weedsport Special Education Teacher David Seward, who also has children currently attending school in the district, said he is happy to see Quiqley patroling the halls. Seward remarked, “Given the climate of school violence that we have seen too often in this country, I think it’s a fantastic idea to have Officer Quiqley in our schools. It’s always better to be proactive in building relationships with students to avoid problems instead of just reacting to issues that come up.”

Seward is one of many Weedsport parents have become familiar with Officer Quigley within the past month; this is mainly due to the fact that part of her position involves monitoring incoming traffic and parking lot activities throughout the day, with the exception of extracurricular activities. Parent Amy Dougherty says she has, “Noticed a slight difference in traffic speeds around the school zones not too long after Quigley began patrolling them.” Adding, “… I assume the biggest difference would be for student drivers who are newer to the road and maybe more aggressive drivers, she will do a good job of making sure young drivers don’t take advantage of such a privilege.”

Parent Ralph Dennis also added, “I haven’t noticed a change in other drivers speed, but I only drop [my child] off in the morning and we’re usually pretty early, so there’s not a lot of traffic.” These aspects are only two of many, so other opinions may vary, but regardless, there’s no denying that having an officer actively patrolling the premises during peak activity can and will help contribute to safer transportation of students.

Quigley added, “… the posted limit is 10 mph, but just like any speed limit; 30 means 35, etc… so I normally pull people that are headed towards 20 mph or above, but I have only had to give warnings so far… I understand that people are in a rush and may not be fully aware of their speed.”

Patrolling the parking lots is not the only part of Officer Quigley’s job, she is also responsible for making sure doors are locked, things are working as they should, and commotion is kept to a minimum. She says, “I have been trying to familiarize myself with the students, so I spend most of my day in the high school because there is more activity within the halls throughout the day. I usually go to the elementary school during lunchtime to get a chance to speak with the younger students.”

One thing Quigley also stressed was that she treats her kids no different than any other kids in the building. “I have to remind my kids to behave so I don’t have to reprimand them as an officer and not their parent… I have arrested family members during my time as an officer, so nobody is giving certain privileges that others aren’t!”

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