CLEVELAND (WJW) – For the first time since a student was shot and killed outside John Adams College and Career Academy, we’re hearing from Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon about the tragedy.
He explained more about what happened that day and what steps the district is now taking to make sure students and staff are safe.
John Adams was closed for a second day after Tuesday’s murder of junior Pierre McCoy as he waited for a bus after school.
Gordon appeared on the district’s YouTube page Thursday night to answer questions about safety and security.
“We have been coordinating with RTA police and CPD and there will be increased presence, particularly at John Adams not just in the coming days, but through the balance of this year,” Gordon said.
Gordon says that’s not the only change. Cleveland police are now able to see what’s happening outside John Adams through the eyes of school security cameras.
“Today we were able to turn on the first integration at John Adams and John F. Kennedy where the city can now actually see through the district’s cameras, monitoring what’s going on in communities outside our buildings,” Gordon said.
The CEO also revealed that the bus McCoy was waiting for when he was killed doesn’t arrive until 50 minutes after school dismisses for the day.
“That leaves a long time for students outside of school, so we’re working with RTA to see if we can get those routes adjusted so that the buses are coming to the school much more close to dismissal as another preventative measure,” he said.
John Adams was closed Wednesday so that students and teachers could seek grief counseling. On Thursday, the school district declared a second calamity day because so many teachers and staff members were absent.
The president of the union representing teachers issued the following statement:
“The Cleveland Teachers Union is working to support the John Adams family and stands ready to work with city leaders, district officials, and other community members to effectively address the scourge of violence that our students, staff, and families are impacted by every day.”
“This is the third student we’ve lost this year in front of a property, first at Glenville High School, then earlier last fall at Rhodes High School, a student on his way to school,” Gordon said.
Gordon also confirmed that John Adams will reopen Friday with a full compliment of grief counselors and psychologists on site for students, families and staff.
“We are urging the school not to just jump back into academics but to really focus on relationships, rituals and routines,” Gordon said.
The CEO says faith leaders will also be on hand as students and staff return to school.
Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.