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Perry Hall High Holds Community Meeting
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September 5, 2012
Baltimore County education officials were grilled last night in a community meeting by parents concerned about safety at Perry Hall High School, following an Aug. 27 shooting there. Daniel Borowy, a 17-year-old special needs student, was shot in the back in the cafeteria on the first day of school, allegedly, by 15-year-old Robert Gladden. Borowy is recovering in the hospital after several surgeries. Gladden is being charged as an adult for first-degree attempted murder. WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn attended the community meeting held at the school and filed this report.
Unidentified Parent: There wasn’t good accountability of the students in the cafeteria getting out of there…applause…take under)
Gwendolyn Glenn: That was the sentiment of many of the hundreds of parents and students who packed the school’s auditorium at last night’s community meeting. They sometimes heatedly criticized school officials for the way the shooting was handled, particularly, in their view, the sparse communication with parents about the incident. Principal George Roberts admits communication mistakes were made.
George Roberts: There were some communication issues that will need to be addressed by the school and first responders. We acknowledge that there was a non-critically injured student that was transported to Franklin Square Hospital with delayed communication. However, I’m confident that a thorough review of all of the aspects of the response will result in a finer tuned emergency plan for Perry Hall High School.
Glenn: The parents of that student, who did not want their names publicized, say they learned of her injuries as they watched video on the Internet of her being placed on a gurney. Although some parents commended school officials and emergency responders for quickly moving students to safety at a nearby shopping center and middle school, some others criticized them for not having more aggressive means in place of checking students for weapons. Parent Lisa Hemphill.
Lisa Hemphill: Baltimore City has metal detectors in their schools. Now if this young man sneaked a shotgun under his pants into this school, what are they doing to stop someone from getting a handgun in school…applause slowly under
George Roberts: That is a community decision. That is something we will look at. 47 It’s not something we will dismiss, but it’s not something right now we’re prepared to say yes we will.
Glenn: Over the next 30 days, school and county education officials will put together a report on security policies that will also address the issue of bullying, something officials say they were told the shooter experienced. County schools superintendent Dallas Dance.
Dallas Dance: I’ve asked our staff to look at all security measures for all of our schools, pre-K through 12, and to look at all of our anti bullying initiatives as well as being proactive when people bring incidents to the administration.
Glenn: For some parents, the explanations were reassuring, for others, not so much.
Rochelle Gorsuch: There was a lot of concerns and questions but I don’t think the answers were to the point. I think the answers were sugar coated and went around the bush.
Holly Imwold: I personally feel my daughter is not safe and they need to do much more to protect all the kids here.
Brian Imwolde: It’s think it’s as safe as they can make a school right now. It’s a shame you have these isolated incidents. That’s kinda of what this is right here.
Ken Duncan: It’s a public space with very public access and we’re aware there’s nothing in place now but observant student and staff to stop someone from bringing something in.
Glenn: As for the students, most say they’re moving on and are fine.
Nicole Gerhold: I’m not afraid to come here, the school has come together as a school and as a family and you know if you are afraid, you’ll have friends here for you.
Ruby Waltermeyer: I was ready to come to school because coming to school with other students we could express ourselves with each other and let each other know how we feel.
Glenn: Ninety-two percent of the students and 98 percent of the school’s staff returned to school the day after the shooting. I’m Gwendolyn Glenn reporting in Baltimore County for 88 1, WYPR.
You can reach the WYPR Newsroom at email@example.com
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