Marion, OH: Growing number of elementary school suspensions

Nov 25, 2017, Marion (OH) Star: What is Marion City Schools doing about student safety? A month after a loaded gun was found in a student's backpack, some parents of Benjamin Harrison Elementary School students are criticizing school officials for their handling of the aftermath. Several parents spoke at a meeting of the Marion City Schools Board of Education on Monday, saying they hadn't seen any changes in school security and questioning the school district about what they perceived as a lack of urgency on the issue. The questions over student safety emerged after a Harrison student noticed what looked like a gun in a fifth-grader's backpack near the end of the school day on Oct. 18 and told a teacher. A loaded, small-caliber gun was found in the backpack, school officials have said. Marion police Lt. B.J. Gruber told the Star that police believe the fifth-grader did not knowingly bring the gun to school and that the student's father accidentally put the gun in the backpack. … In the 2015-2016 school year, there were at least 40 out-of-school suspensions and at least 52 in-school suspensions — suspensions that are served in a school setting — for fighting or violence in Marion City elementary schools, according to Ohio Department of Education data. William McKinley Elementary tallied 23 in-school suspensions for fighting or violence and William H. Taft Elementary counted 29 in-school suspensions and 40 out-of-school suspensions for fighting or violence. There was no data for Harrison, George Washington Elementary, James A. Garfield Elementary or Rutherford B. Hayes Elementary.