Citizens say keep the metal detectors in city schools
By Amanda Tonoli
The Youngstown City Schools CEO Citizens Coalition gave a firm “no” to removing metal detectors from school buildings.
Several members of the four coalition committees said metal detectors should stay in the schools until further notice.
The suggestion for the detectors’ removal came after East High Principal Sonya Gordon said she doesn’t want her students feeling like they go to school in a prison, during a previous interview with The Vindicator.
Coalition member Gloria Darty said students should be asked how they feel about metal detectors. “Many of our students feel safe with the detectors there,” she said. “We should be asking them what they want to do with them.”
Coalition member Jeannine Baker echoed Darty’s sentiment. “It’s important the children be included in this decision,” she said.
Baker also suggested having everyone in the school walk through the detectors rather than just the students.
Rick Rufh, another coalition member, challenged: “Take the police out, too, if it’s so safe.”
Another hot-button issue discussed during the meeting resulted from talk of a balanced-year, or year-round, school calendar.
Pauline Hawkins, coalition member and third-grade teacher at McGuffey Elementary, said as a teacher she understands both sides of the argument, but sympathizes for students who may suffer during three-month summers.
“The 12 weeks students aren’t here, you might have parents scrambling to feed students three meals a day,” she said.
Schools Superintendent Joe Meranto suggested coalition members get together in each of their committees to further discuss balanced calendars to make a recommendation to the CEO at the next meeting.
Before the meeting came to a close, coalition members added various items to a list for further discussion including the new student code of conduct, seventh- and eighth-graders in the elementary schools and teacher training during class time.