Resident Petitions School District to Install Security Cameras

A woman initiated the petition after viewing online images of a badly injured five-year-old who was in involved in a playground accident.

PASCAGOULA, Miss. – A week after a kindergartner suffered multiple injuries at an elementary school here, a local resident has drafted a petition urging school leaders to install security cameras on every campus in the district.

The Pascagoula School District said it conducted an investigation and confirmed that a student was involved in a playground accident. The child fell on playground equipment and no other students were involved in the injury, according to the school district’s statement.

Meagan Williams was among the thousands of people who viewed disturbing pictures of AvaLynn Harris, the injured youngster, on Facebook, reports.

“It broke my heart. I started crying. It was horrible,” Williams told WLOX-TV.

Williams felt a wave of emotions the moment she saw the images of the bruised and swollen face of five-year-old AvaLynn. Williams also has a five-year-old daughter who attends another Pascagoula school, Cherokee Elementary, reports.

“This can’t happen in our schools. This happened just a few blocks from where my daughter goes to school. Obviously, supervision is not enough anymore,” Williams told WLOX.

Williams drafted a petition through, admonishing school district officials to install security cameras on every campus in the district. She believes cameras can give parents some reassurance about their children’s safety.

“Teachers and the supervisors of these children playing at recess, they have to be more aware there are cameras watching them, too. It may prevent something from happening, but once something does happen, we’ll have it on camera and we’ll know exactly what it is,” said Williams.

“We would at least have justice for anybody that physically harms someone else. And if it was an accident, we would know it was an accident. We would know if she just fell off the slide, and we would know if she was kicked in the face. But we don’t know that, because we don’t have cameras,” she added.

WLOX reached out to the superintendent of the Pascagoula School District, who declined an interview. A spokeswoman for the district told WLOX there are security cameras at all of the schools, but not on the playgrounds at the elementary level.

Williams initially started with a goal of 500 signatures. Within 24 hours, she surpassed that goal. She now hopes to get at least 5,000 signatures of support and present the petition to the school district, reports.

“This is something that, not just me, but a lot of moms here in the Pascagoula School District will fight for. We will fight for this, because we feel our children should be protected while they’re in school,” said Williams.

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