An incident at Danforth Middle School in Syracuse is bolstering efforts by the Syracuse Teachers Association to reinstate the presence of Syracuse Police officers at city middle schools.
STA President Kevin Ahern tells Jim Kenyon he is going to ask the Board of Education to reconsider its decision to remove resource officers at middle schools when it meets Wednesday evening. Ahern says there was an incident recently at Danforth Middle School in which a teacher was injured trying to breakup a fight. Ahern believes the teacher's injury was not serious, nevertheless, he says it points out the need for a police presence.
"It is a bad idea," Ahern says of the board's decision this past spring to remove the officers as a result of a $500,000 cut to the district's security budget.
Ahern says, "It is going to create problems, and I am very concerned about the middle schools without those officers."
Syracuse Police confirm another incident took place at Huntington School last week in which a knife was confiscated by a student. It took place last week, before school "resource officers" were removed from both middle and elementary schools.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Syracuse School District issued a statement in which it confirmed both incidents. The statement reads in part, "While these incidents are serious in nature, we do not believe they are related to the removal of school resource officers at our middle schools."
The full statement:
"The safety and security of the students and staff in the Syracuse City School District remains a top priority. There were two unfortunate incidents recently confirmed at two different schools. One involved a teacher being pushed while trying to intervene during a fight and another where a folding knife was confiscated from a student's pocket. Any instances of violent behavior or violations of our Code of Conduct by our students are unacceptable and will be dealt with through our Office of Student Behavior. While these incidents are serious in nature, we do not believe they are related to the removal of the school resource officers at our middle schools. We will continue to work with the Syracuse Police Department and the Syracuse City School District Office of Safety and Security to ensure our schools and our students are safe."
The school board is scheduled to hold a regular meeting Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. CNY Central will be there and will report on any news regarding this story.