Monday 20 February 2023

School District Logs Thousands Of Fights, Assaults And ‘Major Incidents’ In Just Three Months

 Columbus City Schools documented 5,202 “major incidents” that require outside agencies such as the police, including assaults, sexual offenses and fights, within the first three months of the 2022-2023 school year, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

From August to November, the Ohio school district of 47,000 students recorded 3,389 fights and threats, including 1,128 physical assaults, 188 sexual misconduct incidents and 163 vandalism occurrences, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The school district stopped employing school resource officers in June 2020 following the death of George Floyd and instead has 171 Safety and Security Specialists who do not carry weapons. 

“One [fight] is too many for me,” Chris Baker, Columbus City Schools safety and security director, told the outlet. “If we have one threat, that’s one time too many that someone has made a verbal statement with the intent to do harm.”

During the start of the school year, the district saw 176 incidents involving drugs, recorded 95 incidents involving a weapon other than a gun, 15 arson events and 16 bomb threats, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

From January 2019 to June 2022, the school district documented 127 fights, 111 assault incidents and 56 reports of guns found at the schools, according to WBNS 10 News. Students did remote learning from March 2020 to August 2021.

The school district does not log threats and fights as separate incidents, causing the exact number of fights recorded to be unknown, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Moving forward, when a fight is documented at school, students will have a hearing and then disciplinary action will be decided.

“Our goal is to ensure that each student that leaves home returns home safely unharmed, as well as the employees in our school district,” Baker told the outlet. “We need everyone to play their role and assist us with that because security is everyone’s responsibility.”

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