Gwinnett safety concerns to bring together students, community members

Gathering will have a public input session as well

Gwinnett County residents can speak about safety concerns in the community and schools at an event hosted by students, county officials and civic groups.

Monday’s event, dubbed the CommUNITY Town Hall and Panel Response, will include a student panel discussion and an adult panel discussion. Participating adults include parents and teachers, Superintendent Calvin Watts and District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson.

“This multilingual and multicultural event is focused on ways to move forward together as one united community to ensure the safety and security of each and every person who resides in Gwinnett and attends GCPS,” according to a news release.

ExploreGwinnett school discipline under scrutiny amid safety concerns

In recent weeks, safety in Gwinnett schools has been under a spotlight due to a streak of concerning and violent incidents. Student behavior has been under scrutiny as the district has attempted to adjust its approach to discipline, making it more equitable and focused on relationships to address the root causes of misbehavior. Meanwhile, in recent months, parents, teachers and students have reported misbehavior has increased and become more severe.

The event will be at 6 p.m. Monday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville. Attendees may arrive starting at 5 p.m. to speak with various community organizations that will be on-site to discuss their work.

Starting at 6 p.m., there will be one hour of community input, with speakers each allowed two minutes to address the room. Then, the two separate panels will have their discussions.

The event will culminate with a specific call to action that will be submitted to the school board, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and state officials, according to a news release. Tarece Johnson, chair of the school board, helped to organize the event.

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Translators will be on-site for Spanish and Vietnamese speakers. Student attendees will receive food and drinks at the event.

The event Monday will be the second community gathering focused on conditions in the schools and community violence concerns in less than two weeks. Watts, Austin-Gatson and other officials participated in a panel on Nov. 2 at New Mercies Christian Church in Lilburn to discuss concerns in the community and possible solutions.