Local School Official Pushing For Stronger School Safety Laws


UPDATED: Wednesday November 13, 2013 9:23 AM

School officials take threats of violence seriously, and they want state law to back them up.

Licking Valley Schools Superintendent David Hile says he wants to keep his school safe and help troubled students, who are acting out and making threats, and he says he needs changes in the state's law to help make that happen.

Hile said they recently had two students in two separate incidents threatening to hurt people in school.

"They're students, just like we have adults in the world, who have mental health issues, or they have some issue that's troubling them and they're lashing out from that," said Hile.

It's an issue across the state.  In fact, only a few days ago, Worthington police officers responded to threats at one of their high schools. 

According to a report obtained by 10TV, a 16-year-old student said, about his teacher: "If he doesn't leave me alone, I am going to end his life."  The report states that he said this after the teacher tried to get the teen to return to his classroom.  The report also indicates that the student may have guns at home, and that he's been in trouble before.

"People are afraid that when you say this, that you're going to do it. And, so we need to be able act on threats," said Hile. 

Hile said he is concerned about the threat of danger in schools and school officials' inability to take appropriate action.  That's where State Representative Jay Hottinger steps in.

"It's kind of a break-thru to the extent that we're not just being reactionary," said Representative Hottinger.

He said the bill would give superintendents the tools to take control by allowing them to expel students for up to 180 days. In that time, he said the bill would allow school officials to make sure the student continues their education outside of the classroom, and make sure the student receives mental health help.

"It gives us more leverage with them, because they want the child back in school, and gives us the ability to protect our communities, if they don't do that," said Hile.

The bill is expected to be discussed in committee at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

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