Parent Says ‘Police State’ School Should Close

     COLUMBUS (CN) – “Near riot conditions” have taken hold of a central Ohio school district that was completely unprepared for a faculty strike, a parent claims in court.
     Thomas Drabick Jr., a lawyer and the parent of a student in the Reynoldsburg City School District, filed the mandamus action pro se last week in Franklin County Court.
     The trouble allegedly began when Reynoldsburg teachers and other staff “began picketing at or near the school buildings” as part of labor strike on Sept. 19, 2014.
     “As a result of the classroom teachers not being present in their classrooms, students in the jr. high and high school buildings acted out, got in fights and caused near riot conditions,” the complaint states.
     Drabick contends that, “despite having well over a month to plan for the teachers not being in the classrooms, and spending some $100,000 on a private consultant, [the school board and the superintendent] completely failed to provide for the safety and security of students in school buildings.”
     The complaint adds that “there were too few substitutes in the building; some of the substitute workers were ineffective at maintaining order and control of students in the classrooms; and others harassed and antagonized students by stealing their personal property, yelling at students and, in one instance, physically striking a student.”
     On the first day of the strike “a fight broke out in Reynoldsburg High School Livingston Campus that led to near riot conditions,” Drabick says.
     “There were so many fights and outburst at the Waggoner Jr. High School that students were put on limited mobility, confined to their rooms and prohibited from restroom breaks,” his complaint continues.
     Showing “a delusional detachment from, or disregard for, the reality of what was really going on inside the buildings,” Superintendent Tina Thomas Manning called the first day of the strike “productive” on the local news, according to the complaint.
     Manning allegedly revised the plans for high school students the next day, informing parents in an email that “students would be segregated into ‘groups of approximately 30 to a classroom where they will spend the day together,’ breakfast and lunch would be delivered to the classroom, and that any breaks would be scheduled without deviations.”
     Drabick says the plan called for the suspension of “students who are insubordinate,” while Reynoldsburg police enforce truancy laws.
     The superintendent allegedly warned that “students who are causing distractions, especially near any schools, may be taken into custody by police,’ or taken ‘to Children’s Services.'”
     But Drabick says the creation of a “police state” in Reynoldsburg “will only result in additional hostilities, heightened tempers, and more conflicts.”
     Learning is not possible under these circumstances, Drabick says, adding that the board and Manning “should close school buildings to protect the safety of the students.
     The board and Manning “failed to perform or otherwise carry out their legal duty to provide a safe and secure educational environment for Reynoldsburg students inside the school buildings,” the complaint states.
     Ohio Revised Code allegedly allows a school district to “provide for internet or web lesson plans when it is necessary to ‘close schools’ for emergency situations.”

%d bloggers like this: