LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) – Following allegations that Lorain middle school teachers encouraged students to fight, the teacher’s union is now speaking out on how district leaders are handling the investigation.
District leaders said video from the incident in May appears to show staff members encouraging two students to fight and then mocking them in front of other students.
The LEA said in a statement, “The Lorain Education Association is extremely disappointed in the district’s decision to portray these educators in the manner they apparently have before their personnel cases have even been resolved.”
The LEA notes that Child Protective Services found allegations against the teachers involved to be unsubstantiated.
The LEA also said, “Intervening in a physical altercation where a staff member would potentially need to restrain or otherwise put their hands on a student requires specialized Crisis Prevention and Intervention (CPI) training. Across the state, educators are specifically instructed not to intervene in a fight if they do not have that training. Lorain City Schools never offered that training or for that matter, any specific guidance as to how to handle student fights, to educators.”
The union is calling for clearer guidelines and training for all educators when they return next month.
The district has said any discipline that comes from the investigation will follow school board policy.
“Lorain City Schools is entrusted to provide safe, caring environments for our students, staff and all who enter our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Jeff Graham in a statement. “Although we’re still engaged in due process, I really struggle with what I’ve seen in these videos, and I want to make it clear that anyone who violates our promise to take care of the children of Lorain is unwelcome here in our district.”
The incident took place May 9 at Southview Middle School.