Is Hudson safe? Keep Hudson Safe Initiative meets Feb. 7

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- After the tragedy of Newtown, Conn. last month, where 20 first-graders and six adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary, many cities and schools are talking about how to keep citizens safe.

Hudson Community First, the city of Hudson, and the Hudson City School District have joined together to form the "Keep Hudson Safe Initiative" and invite the community to attend a forum Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Hudson High School media center.

Representatives from the city, schools and mental health professionals will talk about safety procedures in place both in the schools and community, according to Cheryl Rauch, codirector of Hudson Community First. Safety and mental health resources will be available, and those in attendance will have an opportunity to ask questions and voice suggestions and concerns.

Speakers will include Mayor William Currin, Hudson Public School Superintendent Steve Farnsworth, Council President David Basil, City Manager Anthony Bales, A representative from Akron Children's Hospital and Hudson High School Student body President Ben Teimann.

Paul and Jane Mougey initiated the effort and are chairs of the steering committee. Hudson Community First is hosting the event.

Safety is one of the 40 development assets Hudson Community First emphasizes, said Laura Gasbarro, co-director of Hudson Community First.

Newtown was not the first shooting to change how schools are looking at safety. After the shooting at Chardon High School in February 2012 where three students were killed and three wounded, representatives from the public and private schools in Hudson began to meet quarterly to share best practices and information on safety in the schools, said Bill Cushwa, director of development at Seton Catholic School.

Besides Hudson Public Schools, Hudson has three private schools -- Seton Catholic, Western Reserve Academy and Hudson Montessori.

"Every school is doing something that others can learn from," Cushwa said. "Even large established systems like Hudson are always looking for ways to improve and adapt technology."

"We already have a good, open dialogue [between schools], but the Feb. 7 forum is more for the community," Cushwa said.

The forum will have speakers to talk about resources available and hear the concerns from the community to prevent bad things from happening, Cushwa said.

Things like the Chardon and Sandy Hook shootings are happening too often, he said.

"It's rare there's an isolated incident that doesn't affect all of us," Cushwa said.

"We as a community care for all kids," Cushwa said. "This is another opportunity for us to come together and just because you don't have a kid in the school system, it doesn't mean you don't play a role in the community's safety."

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

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