Highland Park residents demand enhanced school safety measures

Highland Park residents continue to demand enhanced safety measures in Township High School District 113. They are calling for metal detectors and more armed security.

During a school board meeting Tuesday, the topic wasn’t on the agenda, but one group of parents spearheading the effort made sure to bring it up.

"We’ve been through enough. I mean the anniversary of July 4th is coming up and sadly after July 4th, this really inept board did nothing substantial to beef up school security," said Suzi Wahl, parent, Highland Park High School.

Last month, the board issued a survey to District 113 families. The results showed that 77 percent of those who answered it are in favor of security enhancements, including ‘weapons detection systems.’

Still, some parents say changes have yet to be voted on or implemented.

"I'm not suggesting you don't care, you don't! You haven't done anything!" said Wahl.


Wearing ‘Secure Our Schools’ shirts, one group of Highland Park parents, including Wahl, says they aren't giving up.

It's been ten weeks since a Highland Park High School student was arrested and charged after bringing a gun to school – prompting an hours-long lockdown and forcing a massive police presence.

Ever since, parents, like Enrique Perez, have been advocating for metal detectors and more armed security.

"We were lucky on April 4th. We’ve been demanding metal detectors and more armed security since then and we’re going to continue to demand it until our kids are safe," said Perez.

Despite the survey results, parents say their requests have gone unanswered.

"Had there been blood splattered on the halls, walls and classrooms of Highland Park High School, I’m sure you would have done something, I really believe that. What’s it going to take?" said William Dahms, parent.

In response to our request for a statement, a district official said by phone they are bringing on a director of security and they're nearing the end of that hiring process.

Both high schools in District 113 – Deerfield High School and Highland Park High School – have armed school resource officers.

Tuesday marked exactly three weeks until anniversary of the Fourth of July parade massacre.

The City of Highland Park will start the day by holding a remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m., followed by a community walk.

For the full schedule of events, CLICK HERE.