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Oswego Middle School hosts safety summit

While teachers, administrators and community members all rallied around the inaugural Oswego Middle School Safety Summit, it was a core group of students that served as the catalyst for change.
Following the February tragedy in Parkland, Florida, OMS eighth-graders Bella Koproski, Grace Stephens, Allyson VanBrocklin and Caitlin Munger approached Principal Mary Beth Fierro about addressing school safety at the middle school level. Up until then, much discussion about school safety around the country had centered on high schools so the girls wanted to be sure their young voices were heard.
Although student safety has always been a focus of the Oswego City School District, the student-inspired summit welcomed new ideas and conversation. A few dozen seventh- and eighth-graders from a wide spectrum of the OMS student population, guidance staff members, security officer, administrators, Board of Education President Aimee Callen and both local and county dignitaries all came together to have deeper discussions on safety.
Summit members split into small groups, shared what they enjoyed about the school and then answered questions about safety. Some students defined safety as how comfortable a person feels in their surroundings and others shared what they felt were a student’s role in school safety, among additional related topics. Superintendent Dean Goewey said it was great to see groups of students join together and partake in important conversations.
Fierro told the students that some of the minor issues would immediately be addressed, while others required additional follow-up communications. She also said she had also planned on hosting the safety summit again next school year.

Students gather for a photo on Safety Day.
Community members, Oswego City School District administrators and Oswego Middle School staff members proudly stand alongside seventh- and eighth-grade participants of the inaugural OMS Student Safety Summit, which has broadened safety communications between students and adults.
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