Groves Students Sign Security Petition - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/31/05

Groves Students Sign Security Petition

A student signs the petition. A student signs the petition.

Several students at Groves High School say they are scared to go to school. On Monday, someone attacked a tenth grader in the bathroom. She says a boy--possibly an intruder--ripped her shirt, hit her head on toilet and tried to rape her.

The principal is stepping up hallway patrols, asking students not to go to the bathroom alone. She's also asking the school board for more campus police officers and security cameras.

Campus police are still investigating the incident. So far, no one has been arrested for the attack.

But many students feel like the school and the school board are not doing enough to make Groves High School safer. We spoke with one girl who is trying to make a difference with a petition.

Alexandra Foote hopes signatures will show on paper just how bad the problem is and how badly students want it fixed.

Since Monday's attack, she has been scared to go to school. "There's so much violence and you can't feel safe going to the bathroom or walking down the hallway, so we need some kind of help, something needs to be done."

And since Alexandra feels like the school isn't doing enough, she's gathering signatures to show the students' solidarity about safety.

Even the principal, Dr. Lucy Phillip, signed it.

Alexandra is finding out a lot of students share her concern. "I've been scared, I didn't want to go to the bathroom myself," said student Jezzebelle Jones.

"I don't feel safe at my own school, and you are supposed to feel safe at school, it makes me not want to come back," said Amber Cannaday.

Brittany Sample has even more reason to be fed up. Her sister was the girl who was attacked. "Why doesn't someone do something about it?" she asked. "Why didn't this happen before? Why does something have to happen to my sister before anything is done about it?"

They all hope the signatures will help their cause. Yhe petition doesn't ask for any specific security measures. The students say it will probably take several things to make them feel safer, like security cameras and more campus police.

Until that happens, the students are just trying to stick together, and they hope someone will come to their rescue.

Alexandra says she and her friends plan to turn the petitions into the board of education Monday.

Parents are pretty upset, too. There's a planned board meeting at Groves tonight. It's supposed to focus on finding a new superintendent, but these parents have more pressing issues on their minds.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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