RCSD Superintendent admits there is violence problem in some district schools

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester City School District Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small admits there is a problem of violence in some district schools, but she also reiterates that work is being done to address the disturbing trend.

She discussed the concerns during Tuesday night’s School Board meeting, but despite that, the Rochester Teachers Association is still claiming not enough is being done to protect the staff.

During the meeting, Myers-Small outlined how the district is responding to the violence.

"We’re continuing to utilize the guidelines outlined in the Code of Conduct. Students who violate the codes of conduct are subject to consequences, and disciplinary actions as outlined by district policy," Myers-Small said.

Last Friday, 5 teachers at Franklin High School were injured trying to break up a fight. One teacher suffered a serious wrist injury. In early October, Corrine Mundorff, another teacher at the school says she was sexually assaulted by a female student. Myers-Small said the district is utilizing professional development, and staff wellness.

"There is a concern that there’s an increase need for current staff to receive training in the areas of restorative practices, social and emotional, and positive base intervention and support, or "PBIS," Myers-Small said.

Tuesday was Superintendent’s Conference Day in the district. Several teachers at Franklin High School were led to believe that they were going to meet with Myers-Small so they can voice their own concerns. Rochester Teacher’s Association President Adam Urbanski said no one came from Central Office.

"I think the Central Office, and the Board are waiting for a tragedy to happen, God forbid before they do anything, and the chances are greater that such a tragedy would happen to a student, not to an adult because most of the violence is student on student violence," Urbanski said.

The school district is launching a Community Action Committee involving both students, and parents to not only address issues of violence but also come up with solutions. It’s happening this Saturday at Franklin High School from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.