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Students, Parents Meet With Santa Rosa Police to Discuss School Safety

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Santa Rosa residents gathered Tuesday for a passionate community meeting on school safety days after a 16-year-old was stabbed to death on campus last week. 

There was an overflow crowd at the Friedman Events Center and several hundred people listening for solutions.

“This should never, should have happened. We shouldn’t be here right now. Everyone should be at home!” said a community member.

But last Wednesday it did happen. A student was stabbed to death inside a classroom at Montgomery High School by a 15-year-old freshman.

That prompted a call for better communication between school officials and students.

“And when I check Snapchat and Instagram, when I see all these things being posted saying ‘oh, we’re on lockdown, there are threats! There’s this there’s that!’ What am I supposed to think?” said a student.

“I want more adult supervision. I specified that we really only have one on-campus supervisor covering a span of 1,600 students,” said Rebecca Almendra, Maratria High School student. “That’s completely unreasonable.”

The idea of school resource officers is controversial among students, and parents. A mother spoke to Santa Rosa police officers and said, “you are the ones who keep our kids safe. We don’t call the therapist when there’s a gun on campus, you call the police.”

“They’re crying out for support, mentors. How many are willing to get on campus and be a mentor? Every kid who wants a mentor should have one. If they have great supportive parents that’s great, but if they don’t - start volunteering,” said a community member.

A man who lost his child to violence, talked about how this meeting has to be just a start.

“I lost my child,” he said. “My child is not coming back. Your children are here and it's sad to see us in the community now trying to move forward but we weren’t here two weeks ago, right? So let’s go ahead and keep this momentum and keep doing something and I love you all. Have a good night.”

A number of people at Tuesday’s meeting say they will take these same demands to the school board meeting Wednesday and try to keep the ball rolling. 

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