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Davey Shooting Threat Causes District to Address Communication

PTO President Jen Ingersoll said a meeting between school administration and parents Wednesday night was successful.

After news of a school shooting threat at Davey Elementary was released nearly a week after it happened, parents had some major questions for the school district.

Many of those questions were answered by school officials, including Superintendent Joe Giancola and Principal Abby Bolton, during a PTO meeting Wednesday night.

PTO President Jen Ingersoll said administrators described the incident and answered parents' questions and concerns.

"The parents were so positive and supportive and the dialogue was calm," Ingersoll said.

Many parents were upset over the lack of communication to them about the incident, wondering why they had to find out about the threat six days later through news reports.

According to Kent police, Rachel A. Gauntner issued the violent threat on Jan. 31 while airing criticisms to a teacher about the level of education her special needs son was receiving.

The teacher and another eyewitness reported Gauntner even referenced the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, said Kent Police Lt. Jim Prusha.

"The need for communication was very clear and the district was receptive of being more communicative," Ingersoll said.

She said several possibilities were discussed including sending out a parent broadcast by Giancola when events like the threat occur.

Davey parent Barb Barkley said she felt the meeting was beneficial and administrators made her feel better about communication in the future.

"They listened to parent feedback about timing and reporting and how it made parents feel," Barkley said. "They were open to all the feedback. It was more about how can we work together going forward about how to go about communication."

She thinks parents who weren't able to attend Wednesday's meeting can be at ease about staying in the loop.

"Parents should feel comfortable that the school and board are doing the best they can to communicate," she said.

Ingersoll said the feedback from parents added insight on how to share information in the future, saying she would rather be called more often than necessary than not be called.

"Our administrators care much for their students and their safety and do their very best to keep our children safe," Ingersoll said.

Wilburforce February 08, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Not being " in the room " I would not criticize the teacher for actions taken, obviously You must address this behavior as you would a person in line at the airport joking about weapons, bombs, etc. Many times it's not a dangerous situation but a stupid and or emotional person. Sometimes I worry that we all continue to be victims of the 911 attacks .......
Pat February 08, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Kent City schools do not want a mark on their schools. Their schools have more going on that ever is reported to parents and residents. The superintendent Joe Giancola has made some comments in the local paper which is not acceptable. He wants everyone in the community to think his schools are perfect and safe.
Char February 08, 2013 at 04:23 PM
First, ALL threats should be reported immediatley in this day and age. Second and most important..Kent needs police at the schools..undercover and uniformed. Our kids and those educating them need protection, it's just a sad fact. Pay to play, cut sports, whatever it takes...safety and education come first and I'll pay for that.
Concerned Parent February 08, 2013 at 04:38 PM
"Davey______School" That looks ghetto...especially since we all know it once said "Davey Junior High School" and "Davey Middle School" The powers that be had the brilliant idea with the signage to just remove the words that didn't fit and leave it looking with that awkward spacing. This should be an easy fix and should have been corrected years ago. What a blemish and here it is representing the entire school in the piece. Hey admins...take note that lettering has been there since probably the 1970s. How has this been neglected for so long?
Jon Ridinger February 08, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Believe it or not, the word "middle" was never on the building. "Junior High" was removed in October 1993 when the school was officially rededicated as "Davey Middle School", but the entire time it was known as Davey Middle School (1993-99), the lettering was how it is now, most likely because plans were already being made for a new middle school by 1993 (the bond issue to build Stanton passed in 1996) and it obviously wasn't (and still isn't) a priority to spend money on new lettering. That said, I totally hear what you're saying and would love to see the spacing corrected or just new lettering.
Concerned Parent February 08, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Yeah the signage looks terrible and with all of the time that has passed certainly something could have been done about this especially with how strict they enforce the signage rules downtown. Seems like a simple fix especially since school age children have to look at this horrible jerry rigged design that now represents them. It's a public embarrassment
robert February 08, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Very Good ! Fix the signage and keep the children safe !!!!
Dr. Anarchy Clown PHD February 08, 2013 at 08:32 PM
we should get the architecture review board on this STAT!
Concerned Parent February 08, 2013 at 08:38 PM
yeah I mean who could we get on the architecture review board to review this. Kent City Schools obviously feels the signage is great and totally appropriate for this as an elementary school but clearly it is now an issue. Now this has blown up on them because the signage is now the face of that school. It's a real embarrassment
Concerned Parent February 08, 2013 at 08:54 PM
The real headline of this story should read "Signage at Davey Elementary School Jerry Rigged, Outdated and Neglected as Kent City Schools Hoped Nobody Would Notice" Well we notice now folks and these kids aren't dumb either. They see this eyesore too. It's time to take action.
Dr. Anarchy Clown PHD February 08, 2013 at 08:55 PM
it's got a nice ring to it!
Linda Guyas February 09, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Now that we've gotten totally off the subject, who cares about the sign? It isn't spelled incorrectly, it isn't missing any letters, and it reflects the design of the building itself. Davey is a grand old building and has served generations of students. So lay off the sign and focus on what's important.
Soccer mom February 09, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Who cares what the building says. Davey is an excellent school with some of Kent's best educators! I am confident that Miss Bolton and her staff will take every precaution to keep the students and staff safe.

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