District News Roundup
A 16-year-old freshman at Dartmouth (Mass.) High School was stabbed to death last week when three teenagers allegedly wielding weapons stormed a social-studies classroom in search of the victim's friend.
Jason Robinson was stabbed at about 8:30 A.M. on April 12 and died in a hospital about an hour later, officials said.
The slaying shocked students, staff members, and parents at the suburban high school near New Bedford. It was the first killing at the school, which had rarely experienced violence of any kind.
Authorities say the three youths entered the classroom wielding a baseball bat, a billy club, and a knife in search of another student with whom one of the three youths had fought in a school hallway earlier that morning. That student was reportedly in the principal's office after being suspended following the fight. The suspended youth told The Boston Globe that Mr. Robinson had only a minor involvement in the earlier fight.
After the hallway fight, the three youths allegedly returned to the school with the weapons and went to the social-studies classroom in search of the suspended student. As the teacher wrestled the teenager with the baseball bat to the floor, another of the three youths allegedly stabbed Mr. Robinson.
The youths were quickly apprehended by teachers and administrators. Two of the boys are Dartmouth High students, while the other attends another school, according to press accounts.
Richard Fabio, a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney's office, said the three youths were being held without bail on charges of murder and related offenses.
A panel on school safety in New York City has called for revamping district practices regarding security.
The Chancellor's Advisory Panel on School Safety released its findings after a seven-month investigation into the security practices of the school system. The plan was drafted by three law-enforcement experts not employed by the system.
There have been at least two homicides on campus this school year, and increasing complaints from teachers about student violence.
The report urges the district's 3,000-member security force to combine the philosophies of school-based management, shared decisionmaking, and community policing to develop a prevention-oriented security plan for schools.
To implement this strategy, the report urges the adoption of practices on training, hiring, and promotion similar to those used by police departments.
The report recommends that candidates for security jobs be subjected to stringent drug testing and thorough background investigation. In addition, the report urges that each high school security force be led by a professional safety supervisor, not by a principal, as is the current practice.
A pilot program implementing the new security program at two intermediate schools is set to begin later this spring, school officials said.
Two Ohio middle school students accused of plotting to kill their English teacher in January have been convicted.
Lorain County Domestic Relations Judge Joseph Zieba found the 13-year-old and the 12-year-old Lorain Middle School students "delinquent'' for conspiring to commit aggravated murder and placed them in the county detention home to await sentencing.
The 13-year-old, who planned to stab the teacher while her friend held the teacher down, was found delinquent on an additional count of bringing a deadly weapon, a 12-inch knife, to school.
The conspiracy began after the teacher, Janet Kirk, scolded the 13-year-old in class on Jan. 19. Later that day, classmates encouraged her to avenge herself, according to the 13-year-old's testimony, and even placed wagers on whether she would do so.
An assistant principal thwarted the stabbing attempt the following day.
The 13-year-old testified that the threat was "a joke'' to impress her friends.
Vol. 12, Issue 30