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Syracuse City School District prioritizes safety as students head back to the classroom

Interim superintendent Anthony Davis talks to a Salem-Hyde Elementary School student on the first day of class.
Ronnie Parrillo
Interim superintendent Anthony Davis talks to a Salem-Hyde Elementary School student on the first day of class.

Many students at Salem-Hyde elementary were excited as they returned to the classroom. But they’re not the only ones celebrating the first day. It’s also Anthony Davis’ first day of school serving as interim Superintendent.

Syracuse City School District started classes for the 2022-2023 school year Wednesday.

Davis is optimistic about the year ahead, making sure school is a safe place for students. SCSD has been working with students, so they understand what to do in case of an emergency. Davis said they’ve been doing so for years.

“And that happens at different levels in different ways. So in some orientations, where things are talked about elementary level, then it's a different conversation, the middle school level; different conversations the high school level.”

Davis knows that families are concerned about school safety, but believe SCSD is well set up heading into the school year.

“What I am consistent in saying is they're not there to patrol our kids, they're there to protect.”

Peace officers are stationed in schools, and they’re working in collaboration with the Syracuse Police Department. Davis said that the police department and school district have open communication when it comes to potential threats around buildings.

"If there rumors of weapons or something being in a certain area of the city, we would say, ‘Okay, let's do some, some checks.’ Make sure that nobody's bringing anything into a building," Davis said. "So it's more of a safety by area. And we collaborate a lot with the city in context of if something's going on, we're made aware of, if we believe something's going on, we talk and we just try to make sure that the knowledge is there so that we can make sure everybody's protected."

Metal detectors continue to be used in all high schools throughout the city and on a case-by-case basis in middle schools.

Syracuse high schoolers start their school year on Thursday.