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South Bend Superintendent addresses safety, issues and future plans

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-South Bend Community Schools is taking a step forward toward school safety and community inclusion.

Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells exclusively spoke to ABC57 about school safety, issues and future goals.

Dr. Spells also touched on the South Bend school bus altercation that happened more than a week ago and although he couldn’t say much he did make a firm statement.

“I just want you to know that we’re not going to tolerate that,” says Dr. Spells.

Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells is talking about the school bus altercation on February 16th. He says school bus driver training has to change.

No question about it there is training, but we need to beef up our training not just for bus drivers, across the board,” he says. “We’re in a new era.”

In the last weeks, we’ve been hearing more about threats made to many Michiana schools.

“We take this seriously; we want our students to be safe,” he says. “We’re doing everything possible to make sure that’s happening every day.”

Dr. Spells adds the only way to prevent situations like these is to build trust with students.

“We try to make sure we have relationships with our kids so when things are going on we make sure our kids can talk to us about it.”

South Bend Community Schools enforce lockdowns, have multiple security guards and have visible administration.

“The old days of principals being in their office are over, they’re out and about,” says Dr. Spells.

Another issue Dr. Spells addresses is the loss of students schools have seen. “You lose something when you lose a student. I’ve lost several and I lost something every time.”

Dr. Spells says one student is too many and this is something they’ll be working on in the future.

“We’re going to build a great corporation one student at a time,” he says. “We don’t want to limit our students; we want them to have the necessary skills to be successful.”

Overall, Dr. Spells says it’s about the students and the education they can receive.

“When it’s said and done and they finish our story, we’re going to be one of the best school corporations in this country.”

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