Parents and students speak out against growing violence in Gwinnett County – WSB-TV Channel 2
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. – In the past two weeks, there has been a shooting at Shiloh High School, a lockdown at Brookwood High School and a fatal shooting near Norcross High School.
Channel 2’s Matt Johnson was at the New Mercies Christian Church in Lilburn, where parents and pupils will speak about the recent violence.
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Parents and students are eager and desperate for a safer campus.
Some of the people who organized the event say it takes a community to solve a crisis.
Lawrence Williams says he had no hesitation in opening the doors of New Mercies Christian Church after the recent violence at schools in Gwinnett County.
“Sometimes when he hits home and knocks on your front door, you feel the urge to know that something needs to be done,” Williams said.
Williams is moderating a “code red” town hall, a week after Norcross High School student DeAndre Henderson died near campus in a shooting.
The superintendent, along with the county police chief and others, will be part of a panel to discuss school safety and conflict resolution.
In recent weeks, Channel 2 has reported on a cutter stabbing at Grayson High School, shots being fired at Shiloh High School and multiple threats at Brookwood High School.
“It’s important (to) start today and allow today to be kind of a spark and a domino effect,” Williams said.
This school year, the school board voted to relax the court’s standards, in part to reduce the number of minority students punished.
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Some believe this has led to an increase in fights and violence.
“Other kids who are left behind, teachers who are left behind, they have a right to a safe environment,” parent Steve Smith said.
The panel will hear pre-submitted questions and the meeting will not be open to public comment.
“Yet (that) the community can’t talk seems like a bit of a dog and pony show,” Smith said.
Other organizers like Wayne Ellison are hoping for a productive discussion without finger pointing.
“The message I hope parents walk away with tonight is that we need everyone on deck,” Ellison said.
The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and will include approximately 20 questions from the public that were sent out in advance.
Channel 2 Action News will have full coverage on WSB tonight at 11 p.m.
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