ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester City School District held a meeting on Thursday to address violence in the community and in the school district weeks after a shooting outside of Franklin High School.
Clay Harris, the founder of the local organization United and Healing through Hope of Monroe County spoke toward the beginning of the meeting. Harris told the school board that the district must become more active in the community.
“It is not an epidemic anymore, it is a pandemic,” Harris told the board. “We must treat it as such and you, as the Board of Education — it’s extremely and vitally important that you need to become more engaged in the community, get more parents engaged in their children, and to help them to become better parents.”
Harris said that kids engaging in violence aren’t getting enough love and attention at home and added that the Board of Education must create innovative programs and steps to aid in this.
Following Harris’s speech, Superintendent Dr. Carmine Peluso gave a presentation explaining the impact that community violence has on the students of the school district — Dr. Peluso explained that there is violence occurring in the schools, students are managing social-emotional and mental health issues, and staff members are trying to support the students.
“I hear the concern from our students, and staff on the impact violence is having,” Dr. Peluso said. “This is a community issue that requires everyone to do their part”
Dr. Peluso continued and announced the school increased police presence at certain schools, install high-clarity security cameras, and is currently working on upgrading security technology, increasing doors requiring ID for entrance, and providing NYSP active shooter training for staff.
This meeting comes weeks after a shooting occurred outside of Franklin High School — nobody was struck or injured by the gunshots. After the shooting, four staff members were placed on leave following footage of the incident being leaked. Recently, a non-profit, out-of-state organization announced they are looking into the incident.