Does Canton High School Need A School Resource Officer? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/8/05-Canton

Does Canton High School Need A School Resource Officer?

The landscape at Canton High School was different today with the presence of two Canton Police cruisers on site. "I think we should have at least one. Just to be there in case something happens," says Canton High School Senior Barlow Reid.

But, despite officer presence, it appeared people were still able to drive to the front and back of the campus at their leisure. So how is the school going to improve safety? All Canton ISD did today was issue us a written statement to the media. It did not specify how safety measures would be improved. 

We learned today that at one point, Canton High School did have a campus patrol officer who is no longer at the school. Her name was Michelle Abio. We had to speak to her lawyer out of Fort Worth via telephone, because of pending litigation against her termination from the Canton Police Department. "She enjoyed working for the school as the school resource officer. She established quite a bit of rapport with everyone there," says Abio's lawyer Lance Wyatt in a phone interview.

"We've been here for four years. My children loved her. She did a great job with them," says Michelle Plunk whose children attend Canton ISD Schools. "But even if it wasn't Michelle Abio, you know any officer on patrol would be an added plus." Because Canton High is a fairly large campus, some believe campus security can't fall in the hands of one officer.

"This happened in the field house away from the main complex, so I don't know that having one resource officer would have helped. There probably needs to be more." Whatever security changes are made in the future, Canton High School will be forever changed by Thursday's shooting.

Christine Nelson, reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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