Parent raises concerns about safety at Cassopolis Middle School

Published 10:54 am Wednesday, July 7, 2021

CASSOPOLIS — A Cassopolis parent has expressed concerns about safety and security at district schools.

At a special board meeting called by the Cassopolis Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday, district parent Jason Smith brought up concerns over missing ceiling tiles and exposed insulation in the lunchroom at Cassopolis Middle School.

“Some of the ceiling tiles are knocked down or out, and now there is exposed insulation right over where the kids sit,” Smith said, speaking during public comment. “That is something to address.”

One week earlier, at a separate special meeting of the board, Smith expressed additional concerns over the middle school building’s lack of a sprinkler system and what he believes to be a less-than-effective security system across the district.

“I would like to have those looked into,” Smith said at the June 28 special meeting. “[The security system] is a safety concern because someone could be in the building without us knowing it.”

Following Tuesday’s meeting, board member Jesse Bement, who serves as chairman of the district’s building and grounds committee, said the committee had brought up security items and that Smith’s concerns regarding the security and sprinkler systems are being investigated.

“That is on our list to address,” Bement said.

Though Bement said he was not aware of issues with the ceiling tiles at the middle school, he said that would be addressed by the committee as well. The committee has not met since the June 28 special board meeting.

Board President Deb Deubner said all of Smith’s concerns would be passed along to the district’s maintenance department.

Superintendent Angela Piazza could not be reached for comment as of press time.

In other news, the board spent nearly an hour in closed session to review a matter of attorney-client privilege. After the meeting was reopened to the public, no action was taken.