AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — A 17-year-old male student was stabbed at John R. Buchtel Community Learning Center Wednesday afternoon and transported to Akron Children’s Hospital.
Akron police responded to the high school on Copley Road around 1 p.m.
The injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to police but, very upsetting to teachers and staff.
“I don’t know when I get up in the morning how many more of these calls I’m going to get,” said Pat Shipe, Akron Education Association president.
Also Wednesday afternoon, a bomb threat locked down Jennings CLC Middle School on East Tallmadge Ave., and Tuesday fourteen police cruisers responded to a large fight at Ellet CLC High School on Woolf Ave.
“We are seeing violence, student behavior that is out of control which we believe are a direct result of a lack of leadership in this district,” said Shipe.
The AEA represents around 2,800 licensed teachers and staff members with about 20,000 students in the district.
They are currently in contract negotiations but refusing to budge on their serious safety concerns which they say is their “number one issue.”
“It’s been absolute chaos,” said Attorney Don Malarcik, who represents the AEA. “My wife is an Akron Public Schools teacher and I’ve never felt or said this before, but I worry about her going to school. It’s terrifying. No person should have to worry sending their child to school and the administration wants to say everything is fine and under control. Someone has to tell the truth.”
Federal mediators are coming to town Dec. 12, 14 and 16 to help facilitate talks between the two sides.
Meanwhile, multiple teachers brought their concerns directly to the school board this week.
In response to the most recent stabbing, Don Zesiger, chief of security for Akron Public Schools, said in a statement:
“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.”
But the teachers union believes a multi-pronged approach is needed now, and they’re appealing to the community, parents and students to work with them on a solution.
“Because we don’t believe the administration is capable of doing that,” said Shipe.
Police say charges are currently pending in connection with the most recent stabbing.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Akron police at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip.