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Canfield board gets heat

CANFIELD — It was a packed house on Wednesday for the Canfield Board of Education meeting, with many parents angry about a student threat they believe was not handled properly.

The threat happened at Canfield Middle School when a student threatened to shoot another student in the head 16 times, according to a police report.

Prior to anyone speaking, board President Dave Wilkeson informed everyone that federal law prohibits the board from giving names or discussing a student’s situation in public.

“Plus we have an active investigation going on,” he said.

He admitted that mistakes were made in handling the situation.

The first to speak was Canfield police Chief Chuck Colucci.

“On Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. we got a call from the father stating his wife was contacted at 9:30 a.m. about a threat her son was going to be shot in the head. No one in the police department was notified (by school officials),” he said.

The parents were encouraged to meet with school administrators on Friday about the matter. At that meeting, the father contacted the police department and said he would like an officer present as the meeting was not going anywhere.

At that point, school resource officer Timothy Lamping was called. Lamping did an investigation and determined there was no immediate threat and no weapons were found on school grounds.

Colucci told the school board members that proper protocol had not been followed and the delay affected his department’s response to the situation.

“This negligence delayed our investigation,” he said. “It is 2019 and hard to believe a school administrator would not immediately notify the police.”

Billie Jo Boris, parent of the student who was threatened, then told board members: “This is beyond my comprehension that a child threatens to harm another child and you do nothing.”

A few others spoke on the issue, and when Wilkeson started closing the public forum, several audience members began shouting at the board and Superintendent Alex Geordan, with one calling for his resignation. Twice, Wilkeson had to have police officers remove audience members.

Wilkeson did state to the crowd that, “There will be consequences, and we will make changes.”