TPS school board addresses school safety and gun violence

TPS school board addresses school safety and gun violence

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Public Schools sent a message Tuesday. The school board unanimously passed a resolution declaring their commitment to school safety and opposing gun violence.

TPS school board members stated that for too long adults across our county have failed our students. While they know their board can't do it alone, they believe this resolution will lead to action and more safety for their students and staff.

Parents and former teachers were grateful to see the TPS school board take the issue of school safety and gun violence seriously during their meeting Tuesday.

"The welfare of our students is at stake," said Williann Moore, a concerned retired teacher. "That's what we always want, is safety for our students and our teachers and our support staff."

The board's resolution spells out a school safety event to be planned for March 14th, for the schools safety forces to re-evaluate security practices and training for students and staff, and the district will expand the implementation of social and emotional learning.

"The resolution reflects a holistic approach and really talks about real action that will bring about real change," said Bob Vasquez, a TPS school board member.

Others with loved ones within the district are hopeful for more.

"In the schools there should be maybe metal detectors at the doors. This way weapons are not being able to be entered into our buildings," said Sheila Daniels-Bell, a TPS grandparent. "That's my concern."

TPS officials said the conversation isn't over and they are considering several different options. Board members however made it clear they do not want to arm their teachers.

"I will say that I am adamantly against having any type of firearm available to our teachers," said Chris Varwig, a TPS board member.

"We're looking at everything frankly," said Jim Gant, Chief of Staff for TPS. "We are talking about how we are implementing our process, what we are implementing in our process, what tools that we need to implement our process to make it more safe. It's always going to evolve, we're never going to actually be done."

Their resolution also gives a voice to TPS students about what they think regarding school safety, something very important to the board.

We will never come to a solution if we don't all work together and actually get into the grey areas that exist," said TPS Vice President Stephanie Eichenberg with the TPS School.

While this resolution tells parents and students TPS cares, it also sends a message to our federal, state and local leaders that the board wants sensible laws regarding weapons, funding for school mental health, and support to reduce violence in schools.

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