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Newtown Shootings Spur Meeting to Discuss Safety in North Canton Schools

North Canton City School District officials invite the community to attend a town hall-style meeting from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 15

North Canton City School officials had planned to reevaluate safety procedures in the coming year, but , put those plans on the fast track.

In light of the Dec. 14 shootings that left 27 people dead, North Canton City School District will host a town hall-style meeting to discuss safety and security within the walls of its schools. 

The meeting, led by Superintendent Michael Hartenstein and North Canton Police Chief Stephan Wilder, takes place from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 15 inside Hoover Hall at Hoover High School.

"The intent of the meeting really is for us to get input from folks, to find out their ideas, their thoughts, their concerns, and we'll just sort of capture all of that," Hartenstein said.

He said a handful of people spoke at the district's last board of education meeting, just days after the Newtown shootings on Dec. 19, about their concerns regarding school safety and security.

What comes after the town hall meeting?

"We'll hold focus group meeting in the community and get people to flesh out their ideas and provide greater depth for the things presented to us in that town hall meeting," Hartenstein said.

A community-wide survey could eventually follow the town hall meeting.

Hartenstein spoke to North Canton Patch Thursday just before attending a meeting with district principals to discuss safety and security, including surveillance and door buzzers.

Hartenstein encourages anyone with concerns about school safety to attend the upcoming meeting.

helen January 04, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Hope included in the discussion is: children/young adults' drug usage, both prescription & otherwise; mental disorders, ( some caused by substance abuse and also society's views on treating the mentally ill; violence in entertainment & video games; generational breakdown of the family/values and children being handed over to "care-givers", so their mothers can return to work.
Ken Palosi January 15, 2013 at 01:18 PM
I hope that the school board and administrators don't get bound up in committees, focus groups, and surveys and thereby delay improvements in the security of our schools. Plain Local school officials didn't hesitate. Over the Christmas break they installed admission buzzers and locks in all their schools along with interior locking dead bolts on classroom doors. Sometimes administrators, especially in the public sectors are hesitant to take action on their own fearing public backlash. I, for one feel that we have elected board members and hired administrators to deal with such issues own their own.
Holly Pierpont January 15, 2013 at 02:27 PM
We already have the protections Plain installed in some of our buildings and I personally don't think any of those steps taken by Plain were protective enough to prevent another tragedy - they were what I refer to as a false sense of security. I appreciate the administration offering an open forum to hear ideas and parents concerns - we haven't had that in a long time. After hearing one persons ideas at last months BOE meeting I'm excited to hear what our opportunities are - and I hope this community is prepared for the cost.

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