Garfield High School parents demand answers at safety meeting after 3 nearby shootings, 1 campus threat | #schoolsaftey

Garfield High families said they are feeling on edge, so school district and city officials met with them on the campus to discuss security on Monday night.

SEATTLE, Wash. — Parents and staff of Garfield High school met with Seattle Public School district leaders Monday night in a closed-door meeting to discuss on-campus safety after a recent threat and string of nearby shootings.

Garfield students went back to school in-person Monday after they were shifted to remote learning on Friday in response to this undisclosed threat of violence. 

Parents heading into the meeting told KING 5 Monday they are feeling on edge right now. District and city officials met with them at Garfield High School at 7:00 p.m.

“Thursday was when we got the threat, but on Friday was when we had remote learning; we just stayed home that day,” said Sunshine, a freshman student at Garfield who preferred not to share her last name. “It just felt like quarantine again.” 

Garfield High School father Mike Parsad is not taking any chances with his daughter, a junior at the high school.

“Oh, we are scared,” Parsad said. “We are scared because there is always—every week almost— there is a shooting.”

Parsad is now personally picking up and dropping off his 17-year-old daughter at school, which he said is for her safety. He is leaving work early to do so, he said, which is challenging.

“It is difficult, but what do we do? It’s what parents have to do, and we’re doing it,” he said.

Parsad attended the meeting Monday night. He said he’ll switch his 17-year-old daughter to a different school if his concerns continue. 

“Everybody’s trying to do their best, but I don’t know what’s going on, people just wanting to shoot,” Parsad said. “What they get out of it? Nothing. I have no idea really.”

Even though the three recent shootings happened off-campus and did not involve current Garfield students, with more than 1,700 students enrolled, Sunshine said she is hoping SPS leaders also look at improving safety internally. 

“It seems like they’re doing a lot of things to keep, like, other people out, but ya know, a lot of shootings happen with, like, some students and I don’t think they’re doing anything to, like, prevent that,” said Sunshine.

Seattle Public Schools said they are actively working with police, the City of Seattle, and organizations that operate in their buildings to increase safety in and around their schools, districtwide.  

As part of a new patrol emphasis, given the recent crime nearby, Garfield High School had a strong police presence outside the campus Monday.

On Friday, Superintendent Brent Jones said schools across the district can expect to see new campus signage this fall that aims to help students and staff remember safety procedures. He also said they’re currently replacing building locks to be activated from inside classrooms, and said they’re rolling out a new app where high school students can anonymously report safety concerns.

The district also provided a site-specific safety review on Friday to Ingraham High School families.

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