JACKSON TWP. — No criminal charges will be filed following a bullying allegation at Jackson Memorial Middle School where a biracial student said other students said all black people should die.
The Stark County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed the evidence and determined the matter should be handled by the Jackson Local officials, not the court system.
Jackson Superintendent Chris DiLoreto said Wednesday that students face “age-appropriate consequences” when they violate the district’s code of conduct. Details of any student disciplinary action are private.
The alleged incident, involving sixth-grade students, was reported to Jackson Township police on April 3.
It gained broader attention after the mother of the student who said she was targeted recounted details in a Facebook post. The post has been shared more than 2,700 times and garnered more that 4,800 comments, many of them alleging it was a hoax.
According to the mother’s post, the student and a friend were surrounded by a group of boys who said they were “the wall,” and “this is MAGA country and that all black people should die.” According to the report filed with Jackson Township police, the confrontation made the child fearful.
Jackson police and school officials investigated, talked with students involved and reviewed video recorded by cameras the school district has in the cafeteria.
Information police collected was turned over to the prosecutor’s juvenile division for review. Prosecutors talked with students involved and with school officials.
Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Rich said Ohio law prefers that matters involving young offenders be addressed outside the court system when possible. Officials considered the age of the students and noted that none had a prior history of serious disciplinary problems.
DiLoreto said he appreciated the resources Jackson Township police committed to the investigation, and thanked the prosecutor’s office for its work on an independent review of the case.
He reiterated that school safety is the top priority at the district.
The mother of the student said she is satisfied that officials investigated and have addressed the matter.
Police and school officials have declined to discuss specific details, noting that it involved juveniles.
On Wednesday, the mother said eight boys were involved. She said four of the boys planned the encounter and pulled four more into the group. The others believed they were acting out a scene from the online game Fortnite, she said.
One of the boys made a seriously offensive comment, and that made the situation worse for the other boys, she said.
Since the incident, three of the boys have offered apologies, the mother said.
Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @epritchardREP