Strongsville school adds armed officer as shootings persist across the nation

STRONGSVILLE, OH (WOIO) - Strongsville City Schools announced Wednesday the district is adding a school resource officer to Strongsville Middle School.

Administrators said it's part of the district's strategic plan to keep students, teachers and staff safe.

"We worry about our kids every day, every single day," said parent John Cotlan.

Parents said they fear for their children's safety every day they go to school.

"I just wish it would all go away," said Cotlan.

Sadly, school shootings aren't fading from the headlines. Parents said they want to see things change.

"My concern is that there's no one reacting to this, what is the government going to do to protect our kids and have them grow up in a safe environment?" said parent Mary Lessick.

Every parent Cleveland 19 spoke with supported Strongsville City Schools' decision to add an armed School Resource Officer to Strongsville Middle School.

"It's good, right? We want our students to be safe and feel comfortable going to school," said Lessick.

"I think it's a great idea. I think I feel safer, especially if they're trained with the weapons, and especially after what happened in Maryland where they were able to prevent something worse from happening," said parent Deb Bazemore.

Strongsville police officer Michael Mendise begins his new role this week as the middle school's SRO.

In a statement, the police department said:

"The SRO program also seeks to reduce violent crime committed by and against youth in our community... The SRO's will establish a trusting channel of communication with students, parents, and teachers while establishing regular feedback opportunities."

Strongsville City Schools said it's been working for several months to bring a school resource officer to the middle school. In the past, Strongsville police officer Chris Koenig worked as SRO at the middle school.

He is now exclusively designated as the High School SRO.

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