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‘Highly concerning student behaviors’: Akron Public Schools teachers union calls for action

A statement from the union said these behaviors include the presence of loaded and unloaded handguns in multiple schools.

AKRON, Ohio — The teachers union for Akron Public Schools is requesting a sit-down meeting with the district’s superintendent to address issues regarding concerning student behaviors.

Patricia Shipe, President of the Akron Education Association (which represents more than 2,400 members), issued a statement Monday saying the AEA unanimously passed a resolution on Oct. 13 of “no confidence” in Akron Public Schools Office of Student Support Services and Security, Director Dan Rambler, Hearing Officer Valerie Riedthaler and Akron Public Schools Office of Special Education (as it relates to student behaviors). Shipe said that resolution was forwarded to APS Superintendent Christine Fowler-Mack.

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“Beginning at the start of this school year, and since that time, multiple district school buildings have experienced alarming increased rates of highly concerning student behaviors, which put both staff and other students at great risk,” Shipe said. “These behaviors include the presence of loaded and unloaded handguns in multiple schools, the presence of other weapons and facsimile weapons in buildings, bomb threats, physical and verbal assaults on administrators, staff members and other students resulting in serious injury to the victims, student fighting, vandalism, release of pyrotechnics within classrooms and a distressing increase of gross insubordination and profane disrespect directed towards administrators and staff.”

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Shipe said the AEA is hoping to meet with the superintendent “in the coming week or so” to review the concerns and to create a short-term and long-term plan for “an environment which allows for the rigorous instruction which our students deserve.”

“We share some of the same concerns and are going to work through them in meetings with the AEA,” district spokesperson Mark Williamson told 3News on Tuesday morning.

You can read the full letter from Shipe in the document below:

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