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McKinley High School violence concerns

2 On Your Side is looking into how many times the Buffalo Police Department has responded to the high school in recent years.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The mother of the 14-year-old stabbed almost two weeks ago at McKinley High School wants the Buffalo School Board to do more to address safety in its schools.

2 On Your Side wanted to find out more about what's being done to address those concerns, specifically how many times Buffalo Police have been called out to McKinley High School over the past three school years.

To get that information, we submitted a Freedom of Information Request. Tuesday afternoon, we also asked the Buffalo Police spokesperson for the number of incidents where Buffalo Police were called out to McKinley during that same time period. They're working on gathering that information for us.

Then, we went to the city's database, Open Data Buffalo, where we were able to pull up a list of crimes reported on the 1500 block of Elmwood Avenue. The most recent is an assault reported on February 9, 2022 around 3:00 p.m., so we know that's the stabbing and shooting based on the date and time. But for the other crimes listed, without the additional information from the city, there's no way of knowing if they happened at the high school or just near the high school.

We counted 155 crimes reported to Buffalo Police from 2006, the first year of records posted online, through February 22, 2022 for that block of Elmwood. Since the start of this school year, police have recorded four theft reports and five assault reports, including the one from earlier this month.

We are also trying to reach the nine Buffalo School Board members. Ron Plants spoke with board member Larry Scott last week.

"It needs to be a balanced approach. You need security, you need mental health professionals, you need community based organizations and leaders to be working with these students that fully understands their needs and what they're experiencing in their neighborhoods, you need aide support," Larry Scott said.

Scott also said there's conversation on the school board about whether the district should hire more school resource officers and have them in specific buildings full time.

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