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School Board hears concerns over Lynn Kirk security

October 2, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

During the public speaking segment of the Austintown Board of Education meeting on Sept. 26, the only person signed up was a Marine veteran who was concerned with security at Lynn Kirk School.

Austintown resident, Marine veteran, and father James Skok addressed the board with what he saw as a big security issue at Lynn Kirk. The school houses a preschool program and according to Skok, now also houses the unlimited classroom.

"My kid goes to Lynn Kirk's preschool," he said. "Now the unlimited classroom uses the school as well, and there is no security protecting our young children."

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Austintown Superintendent Dave Cappuzzello recognizes eighth grade teacher Jaclyn Senich by presenting her with the “Hero Squad Superstar” certificate for her program to raise funds in the fight against cancer.

Skok was among the veterans who volunteered to stand at the main entrance to the school buildings after Sandy Hook. He guarded Watson and even went through the necessary background checks to be able to guard the elementary school buildings. He said he was told the school's insurance considered the veteran volunteer as a liability and thus did away with the volunteer.

Skok said the unlimited classroom is designed for students who cannot function well in the classroom setting. It is an online school where students can come to Lynn Kirk for testing and required classroom work as well as extra help.

"I applaud these kids for trying to turn their lives around," Skok said. "I just don't think they should be in the same building with our preschool kids."

He said on Aug. 28 he dropped off his son at Lynn Kirk preschool and noticed a man with a backpack trying to get into the school through side doors and windows. He confronted the man and made sure the school was safe before leaving.

"We need an armed police officer while our toddlers are in that building," he told board members. "We need security there."

After the meeting, board member Doctor David Ritchie greeted Skok and told him, "We are going to look into this."

On a different issue, Superintendent Dave Cappuzzello presented a special "Hero Squad Superstar" certificate to eighth grade teacher Jaclyn Senich, who helped raise over $4,500 to go towards the fight for a cancer cure. She held a year-long fundraiser to achieve that amount.

In other business:

The Board accepted a donation of $250 from the Touchdown Club for Fitch athletics, and a donation of $175.85 from Tabernacle Evangelical Presbyterian Church to cover a specific student's meal debt.

The board approved student trips for the Fitch Speech and Debate Team to travel to the state tournament in Wooster on March 5-7, 2020, and to the NSDA District Tournament on Feb. 14 at Poland Seminary High School.

The Board approved the agreement with Direct Energy Business Marketing LLC, for the purchase of natural gas at the fixed price of $2.596/Dth effective from Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.

The Board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Austintown Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) where both sides agree to the need and filling of a new position for a qualified maintenance and grounds keeper.

The board approved the following Fitness Center items for auction: two jammer machines, one Smith machine, two neck machines, two tricep dip machines, one glute machine, two treadmills, one elliptical, two shoulder presses, two preacher curl machines, two chest fly machines and 30 used golf bags.



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