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BTF surveying teachers on school safety

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The leader of the Buffalo teachers union says they continue to review school safety.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says in wake of recent school shootings in the nation, the Buffalo Teachers Federation is hoping to work to make schools safer.

“It’s orange because that’s what hunters wear so they don’t get shot. That’s why they made them orange,” Phil Rumore, BTF president, remarked.

Rumore is wearing an orange ribbon pin of hope on his tie, designed by students in honor of those killed in mass school shootings. Rumore said his union has been working to survey city school teachers to identify safety issues in school buildings.

“Within the next week or two we are going to collate all that and get the information. From what we understand – some of the schools – teachers can’t lock their doors from the inside, still. We’re getting that information. Some of the door locks down work. So probably within two weeks we are going to have more information on that,” Rumore explained.  

Rumore said his union believes there should be school safety officers in every city school building. Right now they’re only in high schools. 

The union will also be working with student councils as students taking the lead on this national school shooting issue.   

“Ways of identifying students that have problems. There are markers, you know with possible problems – and look at this problem – you know where they making threats and stuff like that – that every teacher should know and every parent should know, so we’re going to do an analysis of it,” Rumore said.     

And with two mass shootings this year, one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, and just last week at the Santa Fe High School in Texas, Rumore said adults in government have failed students, teachers and staffers murdered or injured in the tragic school shootings.   

Rumore said the flag outside the BTF headquarters on Porter and Niagara will remain at half-staff, as a constant reminder that action must be taken to protect students, teachers and staffers at their schools. He said they won't forget in the November elections. 

“You'll see that our flag is at half-staff and it will remain at half-staff until something is done, so that our schools our safe,” declared Rumore.

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