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Parents, students, administrators meet to talk about school safety in Vermilion following shootings

Posted at 11:02 PM, Mar 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-05 05:48:10-05

Dozens of parents and students showed up for a meeting Sunday night with school district leaders at Vermilion High School.

The meeting was called after the tragic shooting rampage inside a Parkland, Florida high school February 14.

“The basis is we’re all here because we love our kids and we love our community and we want the best for all of them, we want them to be safe,” said Annie Green.

Much of the talk was focused on making all students feel included and not isolated.

“I think the way to make our schools safe is to work altogether and to be on the same page with what we want to see in the schools, and I think the community and the parents should have input on that too, and it shouldn’t just be the school administration,” said Vermilion student Nikki Peter.

“I think our school is doing a good job with prioritizing drills. We just had a lockdown drill the other day, so I do think the school administration and the students are working together cooperatively to find better solutions,” Peter said.

Superintendent Phil Pempin said it’s important for parents to be included in discussions on how to make schools safe, and parents were asked to meet in groups to come up with ideas for school safety. Some parents and students said there should be an anonymous school text line to allow students to pass along safety concerns.

“They need to feel listened to, and we need to be able to get their ideas and assure them that we are working on this and trying to find solutions in the best way possible,” Pempin said.

After the meeting, a candlelight vigil was held to show solidarity for the victims of and those affected by the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

This won’t be the only meeting like this between parents, students and school leaders in Vermilion. Pempin said they plan to have four more meetings next school year.