EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A listening session geared toward finding ways to combat growing violence at East Lansing High School brought out dozens of concerned students, parents, and people from the community.
Many people used their voices to share ways they feel the city can improve public safety.
Hundreds of students walked out of their building Thursday and that’s why many of them, along with their parents and community members gathered for Friday’s public safety listening session.
Some say a conversation that’s long overdue.
“Shoulda happened a month ago, two months ago,” one man said
Last week, a gun fell out of a student’s bag during a fight at a basketball game, and even more violence erupted this week, forcing officials to lock the school down twice.
The meeting’s moderator, Dr. Dorinda Carter Andrews, along with East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon led the conversation by asking the audience to share their thoughts on ways they can increase safety at the high school.
“The mental health services for the students,” one student said. “Lack of bathroom security. I’m hearing that many students don’t even feel comfortable going to the bathroom because of kids vaping or using marijuana or other activities in the bathroom,” a parent said.
“Teachers need to be properly trained professionally trained on how to handle active shooter situations,” another student shared.
Next came a discussion of possible solutions
“You need to hire someone to man the cameras, someone to walk the hallways in between classes,” one person said. “Stress training and de-escalation at the same time,” another person suggested. “If I’m gonna be suspended for leaving the school during an unsafe time when the school is not a safe environment then these students should be having consequences,” a student expressed.
“Let us into these schools so we can walk the halls. We’re volunteering us and you ain’t even got to pay us,” another said.
Mayor Bacon said tonight’s session is only the beginning.
“We’ll catalog these answers, we’ll look into our side of this as a city, we’ll share them with the school and hopefully can come to some resolutions,” Bacon said.