Poland High School students, parents express safety concerns

A group of concerned students and parents claim the learning environment at Poland High School has become dangerous to children.

Posted: Feb. 16, 2018 12:00 PM

POLAND, N.Y.-- A group of concerned students and parents claim the learning environment at Poland High School has become dangerous to children.

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At Wednesday night's school board meeting, a dozen people spoke out about their concerns with one senior student. The student was not identified during the meetings due to confidentiality rules.

In a district where class sizes routinely consist of fewer than 75 students, the children at the board meeting tell NEWSChannel 2 they've grown up witnessing a pattern of violent behavior and threats. They claim the student has threatened other children and teachers at the school in the past.

"You need to address these lists that come from one person," Scot Burritt, the parent of Poland students said. "Lists of being harmed in several different manners, including deviant ways."

"The other kids are upset because of this child's actions, they're all scared," Joanna McKerrow, another parent of a Poland student said.

"They could hurt us or someone else or themselves," Samantha Valik, a Poland student said. "If they get help, it could stop that."

Students and parents requested a resource officer be hired and metal detectors installed so they can feel safe.

School officials could not comment on the behavior of individual students, but expressed to the community members that their concerns were heard.

Officials claim every instance of bullying is handled using the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), a state law protecting students of all backgrounds against bullying, regardless of age, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

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