Created: 09/24/2013 11:13 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams
The Rochester City School District is taking steps to prevent a repeat of Monday's incident at the Liberty Pole.
The Superintendent says the district is still looking for long term solutions, but for now school resource officers will be moved to help students get home safely.
The district says it is working with city leaders and others on a plan.
This comes after the chaotic scene Monday. Police were trying to break up a fight when gun fire rang out and dozens of kids ran to the scene.
On Tuesday News10NBC asked people if they feel insecure or unsafe catching a bus or walking around downtown.
“There's some crowds of kids. They're just laughing and messing around. They're all friends and they're just having a good time. Then you see the kids sitting down looking serious, trying to hustle. It freaks you out a little bit,” said Eric Cortese.
“Anybody can be pulled into a fight, so it's always kind of dangerous. If you're a passerby, you don't know if you're going to get caught or pulled into the fray, but otherwise I don't think kids are a fret. Generally, I think it might be beneficial to have more supervision around,” said Eno Okung.
That's exactly what Doctor Bolgen Vargas has in mind. He told News10NBC there will be a difference downtown on Wednesday when students get off the buses.
News10NBC asked the Superintendent the question that is probably on the minds of many people. What is the district doing or going to do to prevent what happened Monday from happening in the future?
Here are some the answers heard Tuesday night.
“People are wondering why do we continue to have a repeated problem with violence downtown involving school students? Why are some kids downtown wreaking havoc?” asked News10NBC's Lynette Adams.
“Many of our students are doing the right thing. We want them to go to work. We have many of our students participating in extra curricular activities and we want to provide them with flexible transportation. Tomorrow we're going to take steps. We're going to have more of our people downtown to make sure kids get home safely, We need people to pay attention to our children in the street,” said Dr. Bolgen Vargas, RCSD Superintendent.
“Have you identified the students who are going downtown? If they're supposed to be on their bus going home, how is it that they are able to get downtown.?” asked Adams.
“The student is going to find a way to get downtown. The question is not whether they are downtown, the question is how are they behaving. Unfortunately, we're going to have to take steps to prevent many of them from stopping downtown. That's unfortunate, because I want all of my students to act like citizens,” said Vargas.
Vargas says the plan is to use school resource officers. These are Rochester police officers who are assigned to city schools. It is likely the SRO's know their students and may be able to assist officers downtown.
Vargas says theses measures are only a band aid. He recognizes the district has to come up with a long term solution. Vargas says he will be working with RTS, which provides the transportation for the district.
News10NBC will be talking further with RTS as well on Wednesday.