BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — During a school board meeting in Baltimore County Tuesday, concerned parents called on school leaders to step up and address safety issues at county schools.
“This is an immediate problem,” said Mary Taylor who is part of the Baltimore County Parent and Student Coalition.
They say there’s been an increase in school violence this school year.
“It’s been a huge uptick in it,” said Allison Stewart, a Baltimore County parent.
Stewart said she has several kids in the county school system and she worries for all of them, including her son who has disabilities.
“He cannot defend himself,” he said. “So, I do worry that not only is this happening, but he’s seeing it. He might be seeing it first hand and it’s very hard to process for someone like my son.”
Darren Badillo, who is running for County Executive, is also a concerned parent. He was one of the speakers during the board meeting.
“We have a lot of children who are just afraid to go to school,” he said.
Badillo also shared a story with us after meeting. He said his son was punched in the face on a school bus and the school waited hours to tell him.
“We didn’t find out until after he came home from school. It happened to my son in the morning. He had to get back on the bus with the same kid who punched him in the face and ride home and I can’t just imagine how he was feeling,” he said.
Badillo and other parents raised these same concerns on Monday during a protest in Dundalk.
He said it’s not just fights that’s an issue, but bullying, intimidation and even cases of sexual assault.
“The students walked out of Patapsco High School not just because of a class being taken away from them, but because they feel their voices aren’t being heard.”
Parents said they would like to know how the district plans to address their concerns before it gets worse.
“We need to start holding people accountable,” Badillo said.
On Monday, the district said it will work with parents on these issues. A spokesperson also said the district “will always work quickly to investigate and address incidents when they occur and take appropriate action.”