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A task force that seeks solutions to problems of violence in schools in Ramsey County held a community conversation Monday, aimed at gathering input from community members.
Residents gathered at the Martin Luther King Recreational Center in St. Paul, Minn. to offer their ideas on how to make schools safer and address the factors that lead to school violence.
"This really cuts across race, class, income, and so I'm hoping we find holistic solutions that really improve not just what happens in schools but what happens in our neighborhoods and communities as well," Suzanne Kelly of the St. Paul Foundation, who is a co-chair of the Community Task Force on Safe Schools, said.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi commissioned the task force in the wake of several high-profile incidents of violence in schools during this past school year, including fights and even altercations involving teachers in St. Paul. Task force members point out the issue of safe schools is not confined to St. Paul, and involves other districts as well.
"I think we really need to take a step back and understand that everyone in the community is responsible for all of our youth, and that we really to think about how we all come together to feel like who are as a community," said Kelly, who also once served as Interim Superintendent for St. Paul Public Schools.
The task force also wants to hear from those who couldn't make it to Monday's event. A survey is online right now seeking input as members work to formulate their recommendations. Their work is expected to wrap up in December, with a report filed early next year.
A link to the survey can be found here.