Superintendent: Student Communication Key to School Safety

A recent fight at St. Charles West has the school encouraging students to come forward when they hear rumors of threats.

Students alerting school officials of rumors of fights and threats on social media could be key to preventing violence in schools, said St. Charles School District Superintendent Jeff Marion. 

A recent fight that broke out at St. Charles West high school between West students and teenagers who were not district students began on Twitter, Marion said. 

"The only thing that might have made a difference is if someone, if some of the kids had given us a heads up," Marion said. "Maybe we could have talked to parents and kids and intervened."

Beyond that, the doors were locked from the outside and a student opened them. 
"We can't lock doors from the inside, it's against fire code," he said.

District administrators and school leaders are reviewing procedures and reinforcing the importance of staff members supervising passing periods, Marion said. 

On Monday, St. Charles School District central office administrators did hall duty so that St. Charles West principals could have a faculty meeting and go over some reminders. 

Staff members at St. Charles West were able to respond to the fight quickly, however, they were reminded to be careful about doing hall duty. 

"They are stepping up and being more diligent about it," Marion said. "After this, it's always good to have extra precautions and make sure we are extra observant."

Marion also reminded students that they have a role in keeping the school safe. In 2011, a student turned in a letter that threatened teachers and staff which led to the school being put on lock down and eventually evacuated. 

"We have to make sure we bring concerns to an adult and investigate," he said. "Somebody has got to tell us because we can't see anyone coming in a locked door."

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