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Brawls, bullying trigger talks on school safety in metro Atlanta

Brawls, bullying trigger talks on school safety
Brawls, bullying trigger talks on school safety(CBS46)
Updated: Feb. 9, 2022 at 1:04 PM EST
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ATLANTA (CBS46) — After a wave of student violence, metro communities are looking to solutions for school safety.

Wednesday night, a townhall at Banneker High School addressed concerns and preventative measures for its campus and beyond.

“The opportunity to collaborate is really all we need,” a parent said to the Banneker High panel.

The school just saw a stabbing about two weeks ago where at least two students were injured, the rest on lockdown, and parents left panicked. But, the plea against school violence is just as loud across other school systems too.

CBS46 has reported on recent brawls posted on social media in both Dekalb and Clayton County schools.

“These kids know what they want, they want to be engaged by the community. They want resources from the community. They want school to not prepare them for prison but prepare them for promise,” a panelist explained.

Parents, business owners, and school leaders hosted the town hall both virtually and in-person.

They addressed ideas which included new conflict resolution programs, teen employment opportunities, and campus mentorships as well as incentives like concerts to help deter brawls and bullying.

It’s a persistent problem Fulton County Superintendent Mike Looney explained during Tuesday’s board work session.

“We’ve had more knives this year. You name it, pocket knives, box cutters. We’ve had guns this year, more than we want to admit.”

Dr. Looney added there will be more campus security at Fulton Schools which saw more than three group fights. As well as an emphasis on de-escalation techniques, a practice districts like Dekalb and Atlanta Public Schools incorporate as well. Additionally, each have a similar ‘see something, say something’ student tip line for other safety concerns.

However, possibly one of the biggest concerns is social media, if you ask school leaders.

“I need for you to know what your children are doing on their devices. I need for you to know what your children are saying and posting,” Loonery continued, “I need your support and I need your engagement to keep everyone safe.”