More than 200 people pack St. Paul school board meeting over safety issues

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More than 200 people filed into the auditorium at Washington Technology Magnet School Tuesday night to speak out about school safety issues before the St. Paul School Board.

They came to express their concerns and offer suggestions following the recent stabbing death of 15-year-old Devin Scott at Harding High School earlier this month.

A man who said he was Scott’s cousin offered his opinion.

“We cannot get him back, but we can save her kid, her kid and his kid,” the man said.

One unidentified St. Paul Public Schools teacher told the audience her elementary school children have not escaped the violence or the trauma.

“As an elementary educator, I worry deeply about our students’ futures. They are struggling so much at the ages of four to 10,” said the teacher.  “Our students and staff have been physically assaulted over and over again. Some of my students now hide under tables, or chairs, when they hear a knock at the door.”

Another middle school teacher, who was not identified, said her students were also facing serious safety challenges.

“And, in my time working at SPPS, I have witnessed middle school students bring weapons to school, make threats about shooting up the building, throw items at educators and other students — hard enough to cause serious injury,” said the teacher.

SPPS Superintendent, Dr. Joe Gothard, and the entire SPPS School Board listened for more than two hours, but did not take any formal action.