KILLEEN - In our continuing coverage of the fights at Killeen schools, district and city police officials held a joint town hall meeting Thursday night at Shoemaker High to hear community concerns about the fights and find solutions.
The meeting lasted around an hour and a half and close to 100 people attended. District officials say they thought it was a productive meeting but some community members say otherwise.
"This has been a systematic problem for years if they were going to take steps for a serious solution I think they would've done it by now" says Shoemaker High parent Kevin Gable.
"Overall it's a good start but I still have concerns. I feel like a lot of the parents questions weren't answered or addressed properly" says Killeen Councilman Gregory Johnson.
KISD Superintendent John Craft read around 12 questions off of cards that attendees submitted before the meeting, even though dozens more were submitted. Craft then discussed the problem on the card with the crowd, but that format didn't always work as many parents claim their concerns weren't being addressed, frustrated parents in the crowd often spoke out.
Some ideas thrown out in the meeting included starting a mentorship program and implementing a closed campus policy but many attendees say they wanted to hear more and say more.
"We're just going to give you an hour of our time but you can't ask questions unless you write them down, that doesn't work you should be able to voice your opinion" says Killeen High parent Amanda Bailey.
"Did they tell us a plan no, we need something right now" says Former Shoemaker High parent Shelly Hewitt.
However district officials say the meeting was a promising start and that they expect a lot of good will come from it.
"From a district perspective there was a healthy dialogue, there was no way every single question could be answered or every problem solved but it's still a good starting point" says KISD Spokesperson Shannon Rideout.
Rideout went on to say that district officials will read over every suggestion card that was submitted and go over the issues.
Several community members who couldn't make it to the meeting said they wanted to know why it was put together with such short notice, to that Rideout says the district felt like the fights were an urgent situation that needed to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Many parents say they want to continue working with the district and police department to reach a resolution but they're not sure what the best format will be to do that moving forward. It's unclear at this time if there will be another town hall meeting addressing the school fights in the future.