BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Students at McKinley High School are expected to start returning to the building Thursday, as part of the district’s reopening plan.
Juniors and seniors will be back inside the school on Thursday, followed by freshmen and sophomores on Friday. The district’s plan also includes a number of added safety measures, but Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore told News 4 he’s disappointed more teachers weren’t involved in these plans.
“As far as we’re concerned, any kind of plan should be done with the full cooperation, with all the teachers and staff, and approved by them,” Rumore said. “Who knows more about what they need than the people at that building?”
Rumore said teachers are still on edge following last week’s stabbing and shooting at McKinley High School.
“They and their students are very very concerned,” he said. “Some of them are afraid, but they are not going to be deterred because they care about their kids.”
“I think it makes sense for us to do this strategically and gradually to ensure that our building at McKinley is safe for all of our students and for all of our staff,” said Buffalo Public School board member Larry Scott.
The district’s plan also states there will be a full security team this week to check lockers and support stakeholder meetings. The district is working with Buffalo Police to hire school resource officers to be at the school for arrival and dismissal of each school day. Additionally, there will be several opportunities for parents to voice their concerns directly to the district.
“The number one thing we need to be sure we’re doing as a board of education, as a district, is right now listening to and understanding the real concerns of our students, of our staff and of our families,” Scott said. “If we are genuinely doing that, then I think we should be able to make the changes necessary to ensure the environment is safe.”
The district will be holding several meetings to hear directly from parents, including an in-person meeting Tuesday night from 5-7 p.m. at the high school.