AKRON, Ohio — Akron Public Schools is responding to more violent incidents within its district., with one happening Wednesday at John R. Buchtel Community Learning Center.
Akron Police say a 17-year-old was stabbed following a fight involving him and two other students. Officers say the teen is expected to be okay, but the two other students left the school before responding officers arrived.
Then on Tuesday at Ellet Community Learning Center, Akron Public Schools Spokesman Mark Williamson says two fist fights between two students broke out.
Williamson says they were short-lived and would've been over in minutes. But he says when one of the student's family members arrived, it exasperated the problem.
“Of course, APS wants schools that are safe, we all do, but that would require hard work and it would require being willing to admit when there is a problem, admit that maybe you aren't doing everything possible and realizing there could still be work to be done,” said a parent from Akron Public Schools.
These incidents come just after parents spoke up at a school board meeting Monday. They say they are frustrated with the district's response to violence and assaults they say are happening inside school buildings.
“I believe you are more concerned with not disciplining these students that are causing the violence than protecting the students who are the victims,” a parent said.
The mother tells members she has been forced to withdraw her children from Akron Public Schools.
“This student was repeatedly attacking my daughter on the bus, pushing her to the floor, hitting her and pulling her hair,” the parent said.
The mother says she reported the violent behavior to staff at Rimer Community Learning Center, but it continued even after she removed her daughter from the bus and drove her to school herself.
“My daughter was playing with friends at recess and the boy ran over to her, shoved her to the ground, stepping on her face. She was knocked unconscious,” the parent said.
“I’m very concerned, and I think it's very alarming and I think you did the right thing addressing the board because these are things that need to be said and addressed,” said an Akron Public Schools Board Member.
The incident at John R. Buchtel remains under investigation and charges are pending.
Akron Public Schools released a statement regarding the situation at Buchtel.
We are grateful the wounds inflicted on one of our students today were not life-threatening. And, we ask again that, in the shared responsibility we all have for student safety, our families engage in ongoing conversations about violent behavior and the serious consequences of making the choices some young people are making. As a community, too, we must continue this discussion because violence is prevalent now in our neighborhoods and it is flowing into our schools. We simply cannot continue on this course.
Shortly after, APS released the statement above, the Akron Education Association released a statement regarding the overall safety of students inside of school buildings.
As a response, APS then commented on the Akron Education Associations response to the initial situation at Buchtel and Ellet.
The two fights at Ellet CLC (involving two students in each) were indeed minor. The police presence there was necessary due—-not to the students—-but to parents and adult family members who had arrived and attempted to force numerous altercations. Had the matter dealt only with students, it would have all been resolved in 10 minutes instead of an hour.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau.
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