Staffers Issue Ultimatum Amid Rising Violence at Santa Rosa Schools
On the same day that Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Anna Trunnell was set to meet with school staff about rising on-campus violence, a student was reportedly witnessed with a handgun at Montgomery High, forcing the meeting to be rescheduled.
It’s a perfect encapsulation of the problems that have plauged the district in recent months. On March 1, a student was fatally stabbed at Montgomery. On May 4, a brawl involving up to 150 or more Slater Middle School students erupted. A teacher and an administrator were both thrown to the ground.
After that incident, a team of staffers who volunteer to supervise student break times at Slater announced they would no longer do so until the district provides more support.
“We are doing our part to keep our school safe, but now we are not safe,” the group said in a letter to Slater Principal Mitch Tucker.
“I don’t feel like I should put myself out there to possibly be hurt. We need other resources. We need other campus supervisors.”
Attention has turned to the district’s ten-year-old restorative justice policy, which emphasizes reconciliation over discipline. Superintendent Trunnell has also faced criticism for the district’s disciplinary policies and the level of support provided to teachers and staff.
“It’s 15-20 (students) in a school of 700 kids, holding us hostage,” teacher Meaghan King told the Press Democrat.
While the district insists it is listening to staff concerns and working to improve safety, people like King say they need additional support immediately – before another student or staffer gets seriously hurt.