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Parents not happy with Board of Education

September 25, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

It was a packed house on Wednesday for the Canfield Board of Education meeting. Many parents and city officials showed up in regards to the issue of a student threat that many believed was not handled properly.

The threat issue involved an incident that happened at Canfield Middle School last Thursday when a student threatened to shoot another student in the head 16 times, according to a police report.

Prior to anyone speaking at the meeting, Board President Dave Wilkeson informed all present that Federal Law prohibits the board from giving names or discussing a student's situation in public.

"Plus we have an active investigation going on," he said.

He admitted that mistakes were made in the handling of the situation.

The first one to speak was Canfield Police Chief Chuck Colucci.

"My intent is to present the facts," he said. "On Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. we got a call from the father stating his wife was contacted at 9:30 a.m. about a threat her son was going to be shot in the head. No one in the police department was notified."

The parents were encouraged to meet with school administrators on Friday (Sept. 13) about the matter. At that meeting on Friday, the father contacted the police department and said he would like an officer present as the meeting was not going anywhere.

At that point, SRO (school resource officer) Timothy Lamping was called in. Lamping did an investigation and determined there was no immediate threat nor were there any weapons on school grounds.

Colucci told the school board members that proper protocol had not been followed and the delay affected his department in responding to the situation.

"This negligence delayed our investigation," he said. "It is 2019 and hard to believe a school administrator would not immediately notify the police."

The next person to speak was Billie Jo Boris, parent of the student who was threatened.

"This is beyond my comprehension that a child threatens to harm another child and you do nothing," she told the board members.

A few others spoke on the issue and when Wilkeson started closing the public forum, several audience members began shouting at the board and Superintendent Alex Geordan, one calling for his resignation. Twice, Wilkeson had to have police officers remove an audience member.

Wilkeson did state to the crowd that, "There will be consequences and we will make changes."

In other business:

The Board was presented a check for $69,000 which represented the proceeds from the Till Open Golf Outing. The check was presented by Brenda Duffett.

Under the Canfield High School Principal's report, Michael Moldovan reported CHS students Ashley Thompson and Joe Bruno were selected to serve on the state's Teen Ambassador Board. The teens stated they are giving a young person's opinions on different topics such as mandatory vaccinations and the opioid crisis.



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