Marion City Schools holding safety forums after gun incident

U.S. & World

MARION, OH (WCMH) – Weeks after a child brought a gun to an elementary school, Marion City Schools is inviting parents to share their input on student safety. The incident happened in October at Benjamin Harrison Elementary.

Monica Roberts was one of a handful of parents who attended the first of two safety forums. On Wednesday, the meeting was held at Grant Middle School.

“I just mainly was more concerned about after-the-fact,” said Roberts.

Her fifth-grade son is a classmate of the student who mistakenly brought a gun to school.

“My son saying, ‘Oh, well it’s not a big deal mom. She’s back at school, everything’s fine. It’s not a big deal.’ I just want our children to know that it is a big deal, no matter who’s fault it was,” she said.

Parents spoke directly to police and school officials during the forum, expressing their concerns and offering suggestions on different issues ranging from bullying to bus stop safety.

Communications director for Marion City Schools Kurt Moore said all of their input will eventually be discussed in a school safety committee, comprised of parents and staff.

“We’re going to put this committee together, get more suggestions and just start getting stuff in place, get an action plan together and see what we can come up with,” said Moore.

For now, Moore said they’re working with a safety consultant to assess all of their buildings. The district will also begin a new security program (tentatively in January) that does a quick background check on anyone entering their schools.

Marion Police Lt. B.J. Gruber said they hope to strike a balance between safety and maintaining a positive learning environment.

“My kids have and do go to school here. I did go to school here,” said Lt. Gruber. “So, those concerns of their safety… their concerns are our concerns not just professionally, but also personally.”

The next safety forum will be held at Harding High School on December 13th from 6:30-8pm.

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