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City council, school administrators address Grandview students 'early release' on Fridays

GRANDVIEW - Topics ranging from school resource officers to gang activity was discussed at last night's city council meeting in Grandview.

Grandview School Superintendent Kevin Chase, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Brad Shreeve and Grandview School Director Karen Veloz joined the Grandview City Council in a joint meeting during the study session, held before the council meeting.

Noting the absence of a student resource officer the last two years, both sides agreed to look into funding an officer jointly. Grandview Police Chief David Charvet said having a student resource officer in the schools usually takes care of 85 percent of any problems.

He noted students eventually get to know the officer and become comfortable with one another.

The city council and school board hope to have an officer in place by the beginning of next year.

A strategy to deal with gang activity and trouble makers was also discussed.

Chase said the police department meets with officials from Grandview High School and Grandview Middle School each week to discuss options.

"We have a handle on who might cause trouble over the weekend," Chase said.

He said more communication with parents is key.

One problem, Chase said, is there are kids in Grandview that aren't going to school. The school district is trying to offer these kids options like getting their GED from YVCC at no cost or entering the high school completion program at YVCC.

Grandview Mayor Norm Childress said he has heard complaints from many people about the early release program on Fridays for Grandview students.

He said all these kids being released early with nothing to do can cause problems.

Chase said he hasn't received any complaints and the program has been in effect for one year. The same problems, he said, happened when the program wasn't in place.

The Mayor said he has done a couple of ride-alongs with the police department and was shocked.

"What I saw was unacceptable," he said.

Childress said the language he heard from students was unacceptable. He said students were loitering around businesses and getting in fights.

The topic of discussion then turned to finding activities and programs for students to do when school gets out early on Fridays. Both the council and school board agreed it's not the majority of students but a small percentage that cause and encourage trouble.

"We need to ask the kids what they want to do," council member Helen Darr said.

She noted it doesn't do any good if programs are offered that kids aren't interested in.

Childress agreed. He said with all the video games and high-definition TVs in today's world, teaching a kid to build a log cabin with popsicle sticks isn't going to work.

The city council and school board agreed to keep a dialogue on the problem open and try to come up with a solution.

After the study session the Grandview City Council opened its regular meeting and the council appointed Shreeve to the planning commission.

Shreeve had been sitting on the commission as an ad hoc member for liaison and information purposes. He served in an ad hoc position because there wasn't any openings on the commission but the city wanted a school representative there.

With the resignation of Jan McDonald from the planning commission earlier this month to take over Rick McLeans's council seat, the commission had an opening.

As an ad hoc member Shreeve wasn't allowed to vote but will be able to do so now.

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