Garfield Heights Teachers’ Association demands updated safety procedure

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 2:58 PM EDT
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GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - One day after bullets were found underneath a bus seat transporting children to Garfield Heights Middle School, the Garfield Heights Teacher’s Association (GHTA) said communication from administrators was a problem during the situation.

A bus driver found the bullets Monday morning after students left the bus and also saw the student who was sitting in that bus seat dump something in a trash can outside the school.

The bus driver called school security officials who located a handgun magazine loaded with four rounds inside the trash can.

Out of precaution, students were dismissed for the rest of the day.

“When you have a lockdown, you don’t know exactly what’s happening, you just know you have to keep your students safe,” said said GHTA spokesperson Susan Hart, who also teaches 7th grade English Language Art.

Hart said after the initial lockdown notice, teachers did not receive any updates.

“At that point I was trying to take care of my students, then you start thinking about your own family too. I am like, do I tell my husband?” said Hart.

Garfield Heights City Schools Superintendent Dr. Richard Reynolds said he believes they did what they could to inform both parents and teachers.

He said staff was notified separately via e-mail.

“I think the things we put into place worked. So, the contraband didn’t enter the building, or the issue didn’t enter the building. Now we are thinking what we need to do to partner with families, partner with the community to help our student make better decisions,” said, Dr. Reynolds.

Earlier this month, GHTA approved a 10-day strike notice for when and if they deem necessary.

School officials and representatives with the GHTA are scheduled to meet with a federal mediator on Oct. 11.