Akron Teachers Rally Over Student Disciplinary Procedures
By ML Schultze, WKSU
More than one hundred teachers and other Akron Public School employees protested for about an hour before Monday night's regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting in Akron.
Akron Education Association President Pat Shipe then took their argument before board members. She told school board members and an overflow audience the district is ignoring long-standing policy by no longer removing students who verbally or physically assault teachers and putting them in alternative schools. Instead, she maintains, the students are returned to the same schools – and even classrooms – where the assaults occurred.
"After decades and decades of a successful process, this board has quite frankly removed our eyes and ears and ignored the process, and it's causing chaos in our buildings," she said.
Shipe said the trouble began escalating last school year. She said the troublemakers are disrupting education for the more than 98 percent of the students who come to school wanting to learn.
The school board has formed a committee to look at a long-term fix, including ways to mediate conflicts between some teachers and students.