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Auburn teachers claim security staffing has already decreased to pre-shooting levels, RPS says some staff may have been out due to COVID, but presence remains

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Auburn security concerns

Several people took to public comment at Tuesday's Rockford Public School Board meeting to talk about last week's shooting at Auburn High School.

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Several people took to public comment at Tuesday's Rockford Public School Board meeting to talk about last week's shooting at Auburn High School.

That group included two teachers at the high school who say they don't feel supported after the dangerous situation, and that security staffing has already gone back to where they were before the shooting.

"After the shooting, we were told that there would be an additional security presence at Auburn," Paul Pickerl said. "We had additional security for a few days, but as of this week, we are back at the status quo."

"By Friday most teachers I talked with mentioned a feeling of abandonment," Andrew Smith said. "It felt as though the message to our students and staff was to figure out a way on your own, or to just forget what happened."

RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett says no changes have been made to the security staff since it was increased after the shooting, and said COVID quarantines could have impacted how many officers are there on a particular day.

"We have significantly increased security throughout the week," Jarrett said. "We of course from time to time will experience absences because of COVID and things like that, but I can tell you we have dramatically increased the security presence and will continue that increased presence throughout the year."

Jarrett also explained the new security measures at Auburn high school. He says things like more ID verification and ending off-campus lunch are decisions made school by school and not by the district.

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Investigative Reporter

William Ingalls is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. He joined the team in 2019 as a photographer after graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and English from Augustana College. William was born and raised in Rockford.

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