Teachers to call for ‘safe environment’ at city schools

OBSERVER Photo A Dunkirk patrol car sits outside of the city high school after dismissal.

Dunkirk Teachers Association representatives plan to be at today’s school board workshop to demand the city school district “provide students and staff a safe school environment free of violence and intimidation.”

Dunkirk’s school board meets today at 5:30 p.m. in the large instruction room of the high school at 75 W. Sixth St. It is open to the public.

The action by the teachers’ union comes in the aftermath of a fatal stabbing that occurred on Lincoln Avenue on May 15. A freshman student, 15, died in the incident and police are searching for a woman in her 30s in connection with the stabbing.

“In response to last week’s tragic event with the passing of a Dunkirk student, the Dunkirk Teachers’ Association will demand that the District provide students and staff a safe school environment free of violence and intimidation. The continued violence and fear rolling through our schools cannot continue and the district must take action now,” the union says in a news release to the OBSERVER and other media outlets.

The union’s comments are directly in opposition to the message sent by the superintendent’s office when the OBSERVER reached out last Friday. In answering the call, an office secretary said abruptly: “That (stabbing) had nothing to do with the school. It happened a couple of days ago.”

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas and Superintendent James Tracy also issued a comment that same day stressing the schools were safe after many parents kept their children home after an alleged threat against the district.