After student assault, Providence School Board president calls for safety review of schools

School Board President Nicholas Hemond (left) and Superintendent Chris Maher (right) talk to reporters. (Photo by Dan McGowan/WPRI 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Days after a teenager was assaulted by two intruders at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex, the president of the Providence School Board is asking Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare to make recommendations on any safety improvements needed in the city’s public schools.

In a letter to Pare, School Board President Nicholas Hemond asked for a review of all school buildings and make suggestions “regarding any necessary improvements to both the security features installed in our buildings and safety protocols utilized by staff and students.”

Hemond asked Pare to complete a report within 30 days.

A student was pistol-whipped after two males were allowed into the high school through a side door by another student Wednesday morning, according to a police report. The student was treated by the school nurse for minor injuries. One person has been charged in connection with the incident.

In his letter, Hemond said his request was due to the “seriousness of the incident and the potential that existed for significant harm to anyone in the school at the time.”

Several recent incidents in the city’s schools has led Councilman John Igliozzi to call for cameras to be placed in every classroom in the city. Superintendent Chris Maher said this week the school department is reviewing the proposal. Police have said there was at least some surveillance video of Wednesday’s assault.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan