DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The family of a seven-year-old girl stabbed at a school playground are asking the district to make changes to security.
According to the family’s attorney, Michael Wright, they believe the school failed to protect the second grader from being attacked at the World of Wonder PreK-8 on May 6.
“They want some assurances that when they send their child to school that nothing like this will happen,” said Wright. “They want to know specifically what policies and procedures will be changed to be sure that this won’t happen to another child. And they also want to know what failures led to their child being stabbed.”
One of those failures, Wright said, was not having a security resource officer at the school.
Dayton Public Schools confirmed there was no officer at the school because of an illness. District policy states the vacancy was supposed to be filled by liaisons with the district.
The district said Tuesday night that the two liaisons were not able to make it to the World of Wonder school before the stabbing happened.
Members of the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education discussed security changes at a meeting Tuesday night because of the attack.
The room was full of community members, teachers, and parents all concerned about safety issues at all schools in the district.
“Unfortunately, it took this incident to bring it to light,” said Francia Davis, whose grandson is in the same class as the stabbing victim. “There’s no doubt in my heart that World of Wonder and Dayton Public Schools are doing everything possible to keep our children safe.”
Davis said her grandson was a little hesitant about attending school again. She said it took words of encouragement from his grandmother to help him get over any hesitation.
Members of district were less hesitant to strongly condemn the attack and urged the Dayton Police Department to bring the attacker to justice.
“I hope you search for this man,” said John McManus, a DPS Board member. “I hope you hunt him down like a dog and I hope you find him and bring him to justice.”
Board members commented on the attack and praised the school’s response time to the incident.
Meanwhile, the district discussed potential security changes to be made at all schools. Those include:
- Creating a perimeter of adults during recess
- Upgrading the security cameras
- Increasing staff monitoring diligence
- Determining fencing options
- Changing outdoor monitor protocols
- Enforcing playground protocol during school hours
No exact timetable was given for when the changes would be implemented.
Board members also discussed the possibility of creating a reward to help police find the person who is responsible for the stabbing.
“It would go a long way into finding that perpetrator as well as sending a very strong message out there to every criminal that, if you do something like that ever again, we will find you,” said Dr. Adil Baguirov, DPS Board President.
The district also asked parents to update phone numbers so they can be contacted in case of any other emergency.
Meanwhile, homicide detectives with the Dayton Police Department are continuing to seek information which could lead to an arrest.
The last description given of the attacker identified him as a black male with a light complexion between the ages of 18 and 20. He was last seen wearing a tan coat with gym shoes and gym shorts.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Dayton Police Department. An anonymous tip can also be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 222-STOP (7867).