The final push for safety

Geneva Parents for School Safety board members, left to right, Stefani Williams, Margie Netzel and Marti Milliken Dixon have purchased 251 lockdown door barricades for Geneva schools. The group needs to raise $2,000 in installation costs, and will host a Dining to Donate event at Mary’s Diner on Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. They hope to have the barricades installed over Christmas break.

GENEVA — Lockdown door barricades have been purchased for every classroom in the Geneva Area City Schools district, Geneva Parents for School Safety President Margie Netzel said.

“We are ready to purchase the Anchorman Inc. door barricades called ‘Anchors,’” she said. “We could have the barricades here in 10 days and have them installed over the holiday break.”

That means when students return from holiday break, they will find door barricades and a school resource officer.

“That’s a huge leap forward in school safety for our district,” Netzel said.

Geneva schools Superintendent Eric Kujala said Officer Joe Cooper has been hired as the new district school resource officer. Cooper will begin his new post Jan. 6.

Netzel said while the locks are purchased, GPSS must raise $2,000 more to cover installation costs.

“We are extremely fortunate that Marous Brothers Construction has stepped forward to provide the installation of about half of the door locks,” she said. “Now we have to call on the community one last time to help us finish this mission and get these locks installed.”

To raise the final funds, GPSS will hold a Dining to Donate event at Mary’s Diner on Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mary’s Diner will donate 10 percent of each meal cost towards the barricades, and students will sell raffle tickets.

Donations can also be sent to: GPSS, P.O. Box 54 Geneva, OH 44041 with checks made out to the CIC, and online at

Netzel said she was overwhelmed during the latest fundraising effort for the barricades, which happened in October during National Bullying Prevention Month. GPSS provides programs for all students during October, with an emphasis on kindness. This year, the theme was “Be the Positive Impact.”

“I am beyond proud to say that this last fundraising effort – the effort that brings us very close to the end of this mission – was brought to our district by the students themselves,” she said. “The three schools – Cork, Geneva Platt R. Spencer and Austinburg, raised a collective $2,800, with students in Kindergarten through fifth grade taking action where others would not, working together to make our district safer for everyone.”

Significant funding also came from the Geneva Fraternal Order of Eagles, and matching funds from the FOE Auxiliary. The Geneva Veterans of Foreign Wars donated twice during National Bullying Prevention Month, providing funding for Geneva High School and Geneva Platt R. Spencer Elementary.

Major sponsors also include the Scott Bader Company, the Anita Obhof Foundation, the Alfred M. Ford Charitable Trust, St. John’s Lutheran Church, school board member Richard Dana and Geneva Major True Value.

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