SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Wednesday a Special Committee on School Safety met for the first time. Their goal -- make Springfield schools the safest schools in the United States.
But that committee wasn't the only group working tonight to keep Springfield teens safe.
Dozens of Springfield residents gathered at Springfield City Hall Wednesday for a Stop the Violence Rally.
This Just as a new Special Committee on School Safety met for the first time in the room next door.
Lt. John Nettis of Hampden County Sheriff's Department told 22News "I have two children. My wife is a teacher, and my grandchildren will be going to Springfield Public Schools. So I definitely want to set the table for the future. For not only the future of my family, but the future of Springfield Public Schools."
The special committee will review emergency escape plans, CPR and first aid training and floor plans at all schools to make sure everyone is ready for unexpected situations... like an intruder, violence among students inside a school building, or a medical emergency.
Many people told 22News this kind of city-wide effort to keep students safe should extend beyond the regular school hours, too. What they want is a wide range of options for after-school activities.
Tanisha Harris from Talk, Reads, Succeed Program said "They have a lot of talent out here in this city, and unfortunately a lot of those talents are getting lost in each other's bedrooms or basements. So let's give them options. We need more parents to get involved in these children's lives."
Arnesia DeBerry, Student at Springfield Technical Community College said "Being consistent with them. Praise them. Give them options. Help them. Learn how to talk to them. Not at them."
The Special Committee will also discuss installing security cameras and visitor sign-in systems as well.