YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Just a month ago, Youngstown Police responded to a shooting right in front of Taft Elementary School. That’s just one of many that have happened in the area.
The students and staff at Taft are now burdened with concerns of playing outside and walking home due to the increase of violence in the city.
“Students here at Taft are very concerned about their neighborhood, about the area right around the school, the inability to play freely out on the streets, to go to a friend’s house safely, to actually walk to school safely, to go out on the playground safely,” said Tod Morris, Taft Elementary School principal.
In the school cafeteria, you’ll find a wall with words from the students, such as concerns and issues about the ongoing violence.
“One thing that’s disturbing to me is that board. Those children, the remarks that those children make about crime. Those are some things that a child should not have to even have discussions about. I just can’t imagine when I was 10, 11, 12 years old even having a discussion about bullets and friends being shot and afraid to play in the yard,” said Youngstown Police Chief Carl Davis.
“Those comments on that board is very disturbing because those comments start at the age of like eight, not our teenagers, our younger ones,” said YPD Community Liaison Malik Mostella.
Wednesday a community meeting was held at the school to address the concerns.
Mayor Tito Brown addressed a crowd of 21, along with YPD Community Liaison Malik Mostella, and community members were able to voice concerns and ask questions as well.
“The safe place they have to go is school, and we always want to make sure they have some safe place,” Mayor Brown said.
The meeting was put together by the neighborhood block watch and the school. The hope is to find some solutions and bring attention to the concerns of violence the students are living with each day.