ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — An out-of-state non-profit says over 20 families with ties to Franklin High School have called for them to do their own investigation about a shooting outside their front doors earlier this month.
The Uvalde Foundation for Kids, formed after last year’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, plans to offer its own resources to help RCSD students.
By launching this investigation, leaders with the Uvalde Foundation for Kids say they don’t want to pass the blame onto the Rochester City School District. Still, partnering with them to collaborate on plans to ensure students are safe on campus.
After multiple students and families of the Franklin High School community reached out to their organization, Daniel Chapin, Founder of the Uvalde Foundation for Kids says many accuse RCSD and the school of not being transparent on changes they could implement.
“The school is all too familiar and quite comfortable in fact with what’s going on,” Chapin said. “It is that kind of mentality that’s going to cost lives. And a faculty member contacted us suggesting these are concerns that have been shrugged off.”
Multiple school leaders oppose bringing back school resource officers. But the Uvalde Foundation for Kids believes SROs can be part of the solution providing more than just security from external threats.
“These officers can get a pulse on what’s happening in their schools and what’s happening with their students,” Chapin argued. “And create a welcoming environment. You’ve seen this happen on campuses across the nation.”
Foundation President Chapin says they’ve sent out emails over the weekend to all school board members explaining their goals while also offering their own resources to students and staff. Including a mental health line to call for support and training community members to watch over school grounds to prevent any disputes from escalating.
“We provide volunteer patrol team members who are very identifiable,” Chapin added. “They actually wear our foundation t-shirts, and it says ‘Stop Now’ on the back. We have 18 from that neighborhood specifically call in and say hey how do we get this going? And that’s what we want community members to do.”
While the foundation tells us they’ve reached out to RCSD, the district said that has yet to happen. But they continue to port students and staff through counselors, social workers, and their team for trauma, illness, and grief.
Over the weekend, two students caught up in the shooting outside Benjamin Franklin’s front doors spoke exclusively to News 8 recapping the experience. For their story click here.