Frustrated parents, teachers demand schools bring back police to curb violence: 911 calls 'almost every day'

Parents and teachers in Buffalo, New York, are fed up with the ongoing violence in their schools and are calling on school leaders to beef up security for the safety of students and staff.

“We have had a fight at every single school, every single day,” Pastor James Giles of the WNY Peacemakers told Buffalo news station, WIVB-TV.

The violence has been so regular that staff have had to call the police “almost every day,” one teacher at Riverside Academy described.

“If we are calling 9-1-1 literally almost every day at Riverside, I think we need a full time officer in the building, which we used to have,” Riverside teacher Marc Bruno told the news outlet.


Parents and teachers in Buffalo Public Schools asked the district to bring back police officers to deter violence from students. (iStock)

The district reportedly removed off-duty police officers from Buffalo Schools in 2021. Former Superintendent Kriner Cash announced the change at a board meeting that February, calling the ongoing police presence at schools “completely inappropriate” and the “opposite” of the “restorative practices” model the district believed in.

Some parents and teachers, like Bruno, suggested that was a mistake.

“What bothers me is, when they did pull them out no one ever came to the school asking what do you guys think since you work here every single day? So that’s very frustrating,” Bruno told the school board on Wednesday.

The Riverside teacher said officers should return inside schools during times of the day when fights are prevalent.

Some parents also worried the current security measures weren’t doing enough to make schools safe.

“We’re doing this same thing every day and not trying to solve these problems. We’re not getting the resources into the schools that are able to help the students,” District Parent Coordinating Council President Ed Speide said at the meeting.


Buffalo school board member Larry Scott urged parents to take charge in enforcing discipline at home at a board meeting last October. (Fox News Digital)

The complaints follow a string of violent incidents that plagued the district last year. In December, the school board approved a measure to update concealed weapon detection scanners at their football stadiums, WIVB-TV reported.

In October, a Buffalo Public Schools Board member pleaded with parents to enforce discipline at home.

“We need your help on this. There needs to be accountability at home for your children,” he told parents at a board meeting. ‘There’s only so much we can do in school.”

At Riverside that month, one student was stabbed on campus, before another student had to be restrained after punching a hole in the school’s front office. Fights in the stands canceled the second half of a McKinley-Bennett high school football game at a separate campus in September, resulting in multiple arrests.

Buffalo Public Schools responded to the concerns with the following statement:

“Physical altercations among students unfortunately occur in schools both nationwide and throughout Western New York. To help diffuse potential issues, BPS has provided schools with significant supports, including full-time Student Support Teams, which are comprised of social workers, a school psychologist, and school counselors,” a spokesperson said to Fox News Digital.

“Additionally, BPS now has BPS security officers in all schools to help strengthen security measures. School Resource Officers (SROs) are provided by the City of Buffalo Police Department and who work directly with school staff, students, and families to ensure a safe environment by building relationships with students, assisting with emergency preparedness, and enforcement of criminal laws. We work with community-based partners that provide mentoring, restorative practices, and safety patrols around school buildings after hours,” the statement continued.

Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.

Kristine Parks is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Read more.

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