York school board approves security upgrades in wake of shooting

YORK, Pa. - The York city school district approved additional safety measures for athletic events at a board meeting Wednesday, in the wake of a shooting in the parking lot of the field where William Penn High School plays its games.

It approved additional cameras, radios and network upgrades to allow for more video storage.

But the biggest topic of discussion was about whether the district should enter into an agreement with York city police to have an armed police mobile unit in the parking lot during games.

“This just concerns me just seeing how the atmosphere unfortunately of police and Community interaction is and has been,” Sandra Thompson, with the York NAACP, said.

Board members Juanita Kirkland and James Sawor agreed with the concerns, but the board approved it anyway by a 7-2 vote.

“My concern is from a first-hand look at the amount of police that are on patrol on this particular day that we're moving games to,” Sawor, who works as a 911 dispatcher, said. “I shouldn't say we; I didn't have a say in that.”

That's because district superintendent Eric Holmes made the decision to go ahead and move the rest of William Penn's home games this season to Saturday afternoons, starting with Saturday’s game against Red Lion, against the wishes of Sawor and Kirkland.

“I wanted the public to have that opportunity to speak on that particular issue,” Sawor said. “Not having it on the agenda meant they didn't get to speak on that issue.”

Holmes declined comment to FOX43 after the meeting.

Some board members claim they were not told about the decision until hours before tonight's meeting. The decision was reportedly made Monday, but was not announced publicly until Wednesday.

“I did not realize that one item of the proposal list didn't need a board approval,” Sawor said. “If I had known that, I would have fought harder on Monday.”

Another proposal for more staffing also did not need board approval because the district already had the budget to pay for it.

The only proposal that remains unclear is whether an on-site surveillance room in the parking lot will be built.