Detroit teachers worried about school security

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 18:57:32-05

7 Action News broke the news about the layoffs of countless security guards who protected Detroit Public Schools. We say countless because the district refuses to say how many lost their jobs.

Related: Detroit schools students say loss of security guards leaves them feeling unsafe

Now the Detroit Federation of Teachers is speaking out saying the district did so without ensuring new emergency plans were in place at each school.

“We’re very vulnerable right now if anything was to happen,” said Canica Curie, the mom of a kindergartener at Hutchinson Elementary-Middle School.

She spends a lot of time at the school. She said equipment isn’t working that would allow communication in an emergency.

“Our P.A. system is down, so there is no way with our security plan in the school, there is no way we can contact staff members to let them know there is an emergency or a lock down,” said Curie.

Detroit Federation of Teachers Interim President Ivy Bailey says it is a problem in multiple schools.

"The intercom systems in all schools don’t work,” said Bailey. "Every classroom doesn’t have a telephone.”

“Some cameras don’t work,” said Kenneth Marshall, a volunteer at Hutchinson.

“Now I can just walk straight in,” said Katrina Williams, the mom of a third grader at Hutchinson. “There is no one asking my name, my child’s name, or who I am there to see. I can just walk straight into the building.”

Parents point out the school is right across from numerous abandoned homes. They say the security guard kept an eye on kids after school to make sure they didn’t explore in these homes and that no one was hiding who was a predator.

7 Action News reached out to the district for comment on the allegations new workable emergency response plans were not put in place before guards lost their jobs. We got no response on Wednesday.

In response to our original story on the cuts the district said DPS officers would patrol schools periodically, work to make sure security equipment is operations, and school personnel are trained.