RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — As a Henderson Middle School student recovers after being stabbed with a pair of scissors by another student, a CBS 6 investigation found the school had the highest number of reported weapons offenses among middle schools in Richmond Public Schools.
That’s according to data submitted to the Virginia Department of Education for School Report Cards over the past three school years.
When you sift through the safety section of middle school report cards on the VDOE’s website, zero after zero after zero appears under weapons offenses in Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico over the past three years, except for four schools: Fred D. Thompson, Henderson, and Lucille M. Brown in Richmond, and Falling Creek in Chesterfield.
At Henderson, a student used scissors to stab another student on Tuesday.
“Any weapons offense at a middle school is too many,” Bill Bosher, Director of Commonwealth Education Policy Institute at VCU, said.
Over the past three school years, Henderson Middle reported 25 weapons offenses to the state.
That is a number education policy expert Bill Bosher called troubling.
“In a couple of years…would clearly be something that we’re concerned about,” said Bosher.
Fourteen of the weapons offenses at Henderson happened in the 2010-2011 school year, and eleven of them happened in the 2011-2012 school years. Henderson Middle reported zero weapons offenses in the 2012-2013 school year.
Parent Beth Bortz says the scissor stabbing along with the weapons offenses are indicative of a larger problem in Richmond Public Schools.
“It’s more of this acceptance of bad behavior, and I think the kids know that,” said Bortz.
In addition to Henderson, Fred D. Thompson and Lucille M. Brown reported 28 weapons violations between them over the past three school years.
But, even more striking to Bortz was another safety category: disorderly or disruptive behavior offenses.
Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Henderson reported more than 6,000 disorderly or disruptive behavior offenses over three school years.
“Kids getting routinely sent back to the classroom from the principals office, being disrespectful to teachers, so when that’s the way the culture is…it’s hard to have the academics fall into place,” Bortz said.
Compare the Richmond numbers to Henrico, where that number was less than 4,000 in the county’s 12 middle schools combined.
In Chesterfield’s 11 middle schools combined, roughly 5,500 disorderly or disruptive behavior offenses were reported in the same time period.
One Chesterfield County school reported a large number of weapons offenses to the state as well.
In fact, Falling Creek Middle School in Chesterfield reported the highest number of weapons offenses over the past three school years: 41.