Youngstown City Schools working to stop fights between students

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Even though it’s just month into the school year, Youngstown’s East High School is having difficulty keeping the peace between students.

Fights between students are causing district officials to evaluate their procedures and make sure that East High is a safe place for everyone.

Tyrone Olverson, Youngstown City Schools’ chief academic officer, and Bill Morvay, chief of security, talked about their plan to increase safety. They say only a handful of students — less than 10 out of the 700 — are disruptive. Those few are giving the whole school a bad reputation, however.

“For the most part, the kids that come to the school are good kids. They want to learn. They want to be engaged. They want to be here,” Morvay said.

He said an important job of a school security officer is to bond with the students.

“We do have officers that walk the halls. We have officers that monitor the cafeteria during lunch and just try to promote a positive atmosphere in the school,” he said.

Making East High a positive place is a group effort in which social workers, parent advocates, school resource officers and teachers are involved.

“Today, the teachers are actually being trained [through] a program with training — helping the teachers understand we have to make our students as important as our standards,” Olverson said.

Change will only come if students know that they’re supported, he said.

“Kids can care less about what you know until they know that you care, so we’ve got to go back to some basics first and assure the kids that we care,” he said.

Olverson is encouraging people who want to get involved through mentorship, tutoring or volunteering to get in touch with him or the administration. You can do that by calling 330-744-6900.