CAHOKIA, ILL. - Superintendent Art Ryan sat down with four parents of students at Cahokia Senior high school Friday.
The parents’ main concern was why the school didn't tell them about guns on campus this week.
A student was robbed at gunpoint by another student during football practice Wednesday afternoon, and a fight Thursday morning about the robbery caused Ryan to write a letter to parents explaining what happened.
But some parents didn’t get the letter.
Shanna Gischer says her son's safety is their top priority.
"No phone calls, no letters,” said Gischer. “It's not right. Something has to be done. Us parents need to know that we should be able to protect our children in any way we see possible."
She and three other parents met with Ryan about communication problems after the two gun-related incidents on the high school's campus this week.
"I'm finding out about these incidents on Facebook, the news, from other children who attend the school,” said Gischer. “And it's not right."
The district did write a letter explaining what happened—it was posted Thursday and encouraged parents to talk to them about weapon safety.
The problem was—parents didn't know to go to the district's website, where it was posted.
Ryan tried to send an automated phone call, but it didn’t work correctly.
"I had scheduled the call, I can only assume I either didn't schedule it correctly, or... I myself need to get a little better training on making sure to do that,” said Ryan.
That miscommunication brought Gischer and three other parents to the board of education building, where Ryan addressed their concerns—he's improving communication and security.
"We're going try and wand pretty much all the kids on all the buses, bringing in a couple of extra sub-security to help with that process,” said Ryan. “I contacted the police about maybe you know trying to have a couple of extra officers there in the morning."
Giving Gischer and her fellow parents some relief to know the situation should improve.
"If your children attend the high school, and you want answers and you want something to be done about these kids bringing guns to school, then you have to get involved,” said Gischer.
The parents say they walked away feeling better about the situation.
Ryan encourages other parents to contact him at his office on Jerome Lane if they have concerns.
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