Parents Pulling Kids Out Of OKC's John Marshall Middle School After Recent Violence
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City School District says they are making big changes to combat the violence at John Marshall Middle School, but some parents told News 9 they still don't feel safe sending their kids there.
Those parents said they are permanently pulling their kids out of the school.
The district said 34 students have left the school since the beginning of the year. The district spokesperson also said that some of those students may have been waiting for transfer approval.
Eleven-year-old Ezekiel and his buddy Joshua were not at school on Tuesday. They're supposed to be 5th graders at John Marshall Middle School. According to their parents, they are too scared to go back.
“The second day of school there was a fight that broke out while he was on his way to his classroom and he ended up getting hit,” said Veronica Murphy, Ezekiel’s mother.
“They’ve never been in a school like this before,” added Etta Dunlap. “Nor seen the riots, the pepper spray from police tactics, the tasering of kids. They put the kids in handcuffs.”
The boys were at Quail Creek Elementary and were supposed to be there again this year. They were moved to John Marshall because of the Pathways to Greatness initiative.
“It’s not great,” said Dunlap.
After a fight that left a teacher injured, Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel announced the district is changing leadership at the school and adding an additional police officer.
Parents told News 9 that's not enough.
“They need to open more schools,” they answered when asked what they would like to see happen.
Right now, they said they are out of options.
“I can’t afford to move to another zip code because my lease isn’t up,” said Murphy. “I can’t afford home schooling because I have to work.”
The district spokesperson said 12 of the students who left John Marshall are now attending other OKCPS schools. As for options for parents like Murphy and Dunlap, the district spokesperson said they could call student services.