School takes steps to ensure student safety

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2000

Sept. 20, 2000 10 PM

Extra security measures are being taken since a female student at Charles Henderson High School escaped serious injury during an alleged attack a week ago.

According to school officials, a police officer has been requested to be on the campus during school hours, and Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage has honored the request.

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"We received word that a COPS grant was approved last Thursday that would allow us funds to have an officer on the campus," said Troy City School Superintendent Hank Jones. "That officer has not been assigned yet, but we have requested an officer from the Police Department and they have been very helpful in getting someone here until we can get an officer assigned here through the grant."

Concerns at CHHS are largely linked to an alleged student attack last week.

According to TPD and school officials, a student was leaving school around 2:30 p.m., Sept. 14 when she was reportedly attacked at her vehicle. The number of assailants and any identity of those involved in the incident are unknown. The Troy Police Department is investigating the incident.

Apparently, the student was late meeting others and when she didn’t arrive on time, they went in search of her. It was then they found her in the parking lot.

Since that incident and the fear it has brought to campus, the Troy Police Department has been a visible presence on campus.

Linda Felton, principal at CHHS, said patrol officers have been working on campus "as another security measure."

She said they are patrolling the campus throughout the school day, especially during the time students are coming and going to the school.

Jones thinks the police presence will have a soothing effect on those concerned in the wake of the attack.

"Having a visible police presence here is something that’s good," Jones said. "We appreciate the Troy Police Department’s willingness to help us and to offer their assistance and support."

Chief Anthony Everage would not comment on the status of the investigation, but he said his department will make "every effort" to "get to the bottom of this situation."

"We are committed to protecting our children," he said. "We plan on taking any precautions necessary to ensure their safety. We cannot take matters of this nature lightly."

In addition to the police department’s investigation, the school has been conducting its own investigation.

"We are committed to finding out who could have done this," Jones said. "We want to see to it that our students are safe and secure."

Jones said he has appreciated the response of many community members since the attack was first reported.

"We have had a lot of calls, which is something we expect," Jones said. "But far from being negative, there have been a lot of inquiries and a lot of support. We want to let people know what’s happening and we anticipate the questions. We just appreciate how supportive the community has been."

Everage encourages anyone with information regarding the incident to call the police department at 566-0500 or the Secret Witness line at 566-5555.