Parents, teachers argue that Bedford high schoolers should return after violence sends them to virtual learning

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BEDFORD, Ohio (WJW) – More than 100 parents, teachers and students showed up at Columbus Intermediate School in Bedford Thursday night, upset over the districts decision to keep high school kids at home remote learning until Nov. 29 after Thanksgiving.

The plan was announced the night before as a result of recent fights at the high school, as well as a student bringing a gun to a football game.

“There were threats and talk of a gun. That is something we took very seriously,” said principal Christopher Thompson.

At the meeting, parents pointed out that the student with the gun was from another city, and they don’t think it’s fair to punish all other students for the actions of a few. 

“Our kids are on the news, and they’re being portrayed as disrespectful juvenile delinquents,” said one mom.

Administrators also announced that they’re hiring more security, emotional support staff and installing door alarms, surveillance cameras and metal detectors.

“You’re punishing the kids who want to learn and the ones that don’t. You should find another option,” said another mother.

Students also begged to return to class at the meeting, while some parents called for the superintendent’s resignation.

The president of the Bedford Education Association also spoke on behalf of teachers and expressed deep concerns over the plans.

“Teachers don’t want this for our students, but we were never asked and clearly being remote is not a fix, and certainly not one the teachers believe is the answer unless our students are at risk,” she said.

After a half hour of public comment, the board thanked everyone for coming and said they’d be getting back to them within 24 hours.

As of right now, the high school administration is expected to finalize the plans in the weeks to come.

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