Addressing Discipline

Board Presentation is Far Reaching
Posted on 03/16/2018
Image of Children with Safety Sign(courtesy Jeff Gorman, Side Leader)

Building strong relationships can help keep children safe at school, Dan Rambler told the Akron Public Schools Board of Education at the March 12 meeting.

Rambler, the district’s director of student support services, spoke to the board about safety issues. He was joined by members of the safety team, which includes officers and facility personnel.

Rambler said the middle schools and high schools randomly use metal detectors of the standup and hand-held varieties. Human relationships are even more important than hardware, he added.

School Resource Officer Mike Williams illustrated that point when he told the story of a student who wouldn’t talk to him as a freshman just because he wore an officer’s uniform.

“I kept talking to him,” Williams said, “and, eventually, I went to his graduation party.”

Board member the Rev. Curtis Walker asked the safety team how they would secure the schools if money were no object.

Williams said even with a secured entrance, an intruder could be let into any other door in the school.

“If someone wants to get in, they’re going to get in,” he said.

Officer Don Good added, “We just have to keep giving them love. Show them that you’re there for them. It doesn’t take money.”

Board member Lisa Mansfield said she talked to fifth-graders at Case Elementary School last week about security issues.

“One thing that has come out of this tragedy is listening to our children,” she said. “They wanted to make sure that the walkout [planned for March 14] is considerate of preschoolers as well as a learning experience.”

Board member Ginger Baylor said the movie “Wonder” continually comes up during these discussions with children.

“They are taking lessons from it,” she said. “They are learning about being different or being bullied and how to stand up for themselves without doing harm to someone else.”

Walker said principals have informed the board about students’ plans for the walkout.

“Some will be in the library, some will be in the auditorium, others will be outside,” Walker said. “They want to do something safe and something that will honor the deceased students.

“Also, we at Akron Public Schools do not support having teachers carry guns,” he added, “for many reasons, including the safety of them and the students.” Read more >>.
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