School Addresses Safety Concerns

Posted at: 10/10/2013 10:58 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- A teen brought a loaded gun into school and pointed it at other students last week, now Winona parents share their concerns.

Felony charges have been filed against the 15 year-old Winona High School Student and district leaders and law enforcement invited parents to have an open discussion about this .It was a packed house full on concerned parents.

"My whole family is at school and so with the things that have gone on in our country, it’s easy to go to a bad place fast," said Dan Debroux. His wife is a teacher at the high school and his two girls go there.

"We are very blessed that a parent finally did come forward and say that, ‘my daughter told me that she knows a kid that brought a gun to school.’As soon as we know those things, we work very collaboratively and close with the police departments and get on it right away, but until we know those things, we can’t take action," said Superintendent Dr. Scott Hannon.

This meeting was to try and open up that conversation. Parents shared their concerns and suggestions for a safer learning environment, like making school entrances more secure. "Facility wise, what can we do with our front entrances to make them safer?... Maybe slow the traffic down to keep  kids from going in and out as much, as I’m hearing that's happening," said Dr. Hannon. He says the district is open to making changes but they need parents and students to help too.

"We can do a little bit better job. We can be a little more vigilant and we have looked at the buzzers and cameras at front doors, I mentioned that, and we set money aside to possibly do that at maybe two of our elementary schools," said Dr. Hannon.

"Obviously the school is very concerned and they care for our children and their employees, but it’s also a Winona issue," said Debroux. Reminding students as well as parents to say something if they see something. "I think it'll start the discussion of what we need to do as a community to look at our schools and make them safe, and I'm glad that they were willing to have this discussion with all of us and I plan on staying involved," said Debroux.

Police say that student could face more charges for an incident at a football game. Deputy Police Chief Tom Williams says the boy is accused of pointing a gun at a female student near the field on September 20th. Williams says the girl's father reported the incident last week. The boy remains in a detention facility.