HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Casey Wardynski sat down for a lengthy interview with WHNT News 19’s Steve Johnson on Tuesday.
They discussed a range of issues including parent concerns about discipline in the school system, recent fights at Grissom and Huntsville high schools that drew wide attention after being captured on camera phones, and some success stories as well.
Extended portions of Johnson’s interview with Wardynski can be seen in the players below and on Leadership Perspectives in our Sunday morning newscast.
In a video released by the school system over the weekend, Wardynski said Huntsville City Schools would resume its program to monitor student social media accounts. He told WHNT News 19 the program is designed to preempt fights and potential threats.
“To include if they’ve had a history of violence or bringing threats into our schools, that means reaching out of school,” Wardynski said. “Because we can’t stop a fight in school if we wait for it to come to school.”
Wardynski also said concerns about fights at Grissom and Huntsville aren’t new to the school system.
“The fact that Huntsville and Grissom are on the radar is not new to us; we’ve had fights at Huntsville and Grissom since I’ve been here,” Wardynski said. “The likelihood of a child going to either of those schools and being in a fight on any given day is about one in 10,000.
“Now if they’re a child who is skipping class, if they’re a child who is not where they’re not supposed to be, those odds go way up.”
The superintendent said the fights are happening in areas where students congregate, not in classrooms. The system knows how it needs to deploy its security technology, he said.
“The kids in the classroom are not the problem,” he said. “We don’t have fights in the classroom, typically. It’s in the hallways, it’s in the cafeterias, it’s in areas where people congregate.
“So that tells us how to deploy our safety systems, our technologies and it tells us which kids we ought to have a special sort of purview over.”
Extended portions of Johnson’s interview with Wardynski will be aired Sunday on WHNT News 19 This Morning, on Leadership Perspectives.