Hamden High students share concerns with town leaders after threats, violence impact school community

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Town leaders are taking steps to curb violence after a series of gun threats forced Hamden High School to close three times in a week. The community wants more to be done to combat these issues.

Three 17-year-old girls stepped up to the podium at a public forum on school safety Thursday night.

“It is evident that action was needed after the first firearm entered the school but not much was done,” one of the girls said.

“We urge you to consider the physical and mental well-being of your students because we are the future,” another girl said during the meeting.

They brought up their concerns in front of Hamden officials, including the mayor, Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships (SPCP) and Hamden police.

Parents are uneasy after all that has happened.

“You say to yourself ‘is it going to be the day that something happens in my child’s school’ because it’s happening everywhere,” said Hamden parent Karlen Meinsen.

This past week, police arrested a 13-year-old middle school student for allegedly making threats on social media against the town’s high school and middle school.

This comes shortly after a ninth-grader was stabbed a few feet away from campus and a student brought a loaded handgun to school in October.

“There is a lot of divide about metal detectors, there is a lot of divide about school resource officers,” said Jacqueline Beirne, SPCP facilitator. “The SPCP council is working with the mayor’s office as well as the chief of police about what the definition of an SRO is.”

The SPCP said the conversation will never be over when it comes to the protection of these kids.

“It’s mostly to have an opportunity for our leaders to hear from our community directly so that we can all work together,” Beirne said.

Metal detectors were a big topic up for debate tonight. A few students said they are invasive while parents said it’s the best way to protect their kids in school.

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