After Ramsey Elementary gun incident, focus is on support
Efforts to ensure the safety of Gateway School District students after a series of scares in recent weeks will focus on emotional support for middle and high school students and a ban on book bags at the elementary level, district officials said recently.
“The administration believes that our efforts need to focus on proactive ways to address student behaviors,” Gateway spokeswoman Cara Zanella said.
“We are focusing on addressing mental and emotional health issues in our schools now and next school year, These issues directly impact student behavior and how students learn to successfully deal with adversity in school and at home.”
Some parents criticized a new policy that banned book bags for students up to the fourth grade.
The policy took effect a few hours after a 6-year-old discovered a loaded gun in his book bag while at Ramsey Elementary School on April 30.
The boy's mother — Stephanie Lynn Marie Roth, 32, of Monroeville — is charged with endangering the welfare of children, reckless endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors, police said.
District Judge Jeffrey L. Herbst released Roth without setting a bond.
Police said they suspect another person stashed the gun in the book bag.
University Park Elementary parent Bobbie Robak said she's worried the new policy will result in her daughter leaving a book or homework on the bus.
“Why should students be punished when the student (at Ramsey Elementary) did the right thing by alerting a teacher?” Robak asked
Superintendent Nina Zetty said district officials considered the ban because children come to school with knives in their bags from weekend camping or fishing excursions.
“I know parents will feel this is a knee-jerk reaction, but we have been thinking about this and talking about it, and now is the time,” Zetty said.
Some parents have suggested at recent school board meetings that metal detectors or additional security be added at one or more of the Gateway schools.
Administrators have researched the value of metal detectors in neighboring school districts and determined the equipment and manpower wouldn't necessarily stop a highly unusual event, such as the April 9 knife attack on 21 people at Franklin Regional High School, Zanella said.
“At this time, the district will not be pursuing metal-detector installation at any of the Gateway schools,” Zanella said.
“It is our belief that, for the time being, metal detectors are not the right choice for our schools.”
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Collapsed Old Ramsey Road slated for repair work
- Abandoned, stolen items pop up in the strangest places in Monroeville
- Monroeville spaces out police hires
- Marching band competition slated for Gateway High School