Nearly 50 student government and leadership members from Boca Raton middle and high schools met on Wednesday, April 18, to share their concerns about school safety with the Boca Raton Community Advisory Panel (CAP). The Panel, a volunteer committee appointed by the Boca Raton City Council, holds meetings and town hall style forums to gather input from residents about quality of life issues in Boca Raton. At the request of the City Council, and in response to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Panel reached out to middle and high schools in the City and invited students to this special forum.
Eric Gooden, Chairman of the CAP, welcomed the students and gave some background about why the panel had invited the students to this unique forum. “The idea was to let the students talk and share their concerns, ideas and solutions about school safety. Adults have done a lot of talking, and our City Council wanted to hear from the students. They are residents of the City and should have their voices heard.”
The Panel reached out to principals at Boca Raton and Spanish River High Schools, Boca Raton, Omni and Don Estridge Middle Schools, all within the City limits, and invited student government representatives to join the conversation. Each school sent about 10 students to the Downtown Boca Raton Library to participate in the round table discussions.
The Community Advisory Panel members cataloged students’ concerns, ideas and solutions. Each table then shared a summary of their discussion. Common themes included lack of consistency in following safety rules, lack of enforcement, student identification and concerns about the infrastructure and safety designs of the schools. Other topics including mental health, bullying and overcrowding were all cited as safety issues as well.
View Students Lead Discussion About School Safety media release