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Goshen Schools superintendent responds to guns, gangs
Goshen News - 4/27/2022
Apr. 27—GOSHEN — On Thursday, Goshen Community Schools issued a statement about recent acts of violence and police activity, including a Goshen Police Department investigation with a direct connection to Goshen High School.
"The Goshen community has recently seen an uptick of violent incidents, including gang and gun violence," GCS Superintendent Dr. Steven Hope said in the statement.
During a Tuesday traffic stop, according to a GPD report, an officer found "two guns in the car and it was learned that the subjects had just come from Goshen High School."
GPD Public Information Officer Polly Hoover said by email Wednesday that three individuals were in the vehicle that was stopped.
"Both guns were collected by the officer and placed into evidence at our department due to the investigation," Hoover said. "There have been no arrests — it is an ongoing investigation."
Hoover would not comment on whether the incident is believed to be gang related.
The Goshen High School handbook states that "No student shall possess, handle, or transmit any firearm or destructive device on school property."
It also states that the penalty for possession of a firearm or destructive device is suspension up to 10 days and expulsion from school for at least one calendar year with the return of the student to be at the beginning of the first semester after the one-year period.
The students have been disciplined to the full extent of this policy, the GCS statement said.
"Our staff, led by the Goshen Police Department's School Resource Officers (SROs) and principals, are aware of gang activity in the community," Hope said. "The SROs are trained and knowledgeable about gang affiliations and behavior, and they work hard, along with administrators, to keep gang activity out of our schools."
After meeting with GHS staff Wednesday morning to discuss the incident, Hope said the following safety precautions have been implemented:
—There is and will be an increased police presence.
—Students will not be allowed to wear hats or any apparel that indicates gang affiliation.
—Staff will be present in the hallways before and after school and during passing periods
—If students need to leave a classroom for any reason, their phones must stay with their teacher. The exception is if a student needs their phone due to a medical condition.
Hope emphasized that Goshen Community Schools are centers for learning and "there is no place for gang activity in schools."
"At GCS, we are concerned for the safety of our students and staff, not only during the school day, but during the evenings and weekends as well," he said. "Therefore, as we move through the last five weeks of this school year, we are asking our community to help keep watch over GCS students and schools so that everyone may safely finish the school year together."
He added that as for the increased police presence at all schools, there will be an extra emphasis on the junior high and high school.
"We greatly appreciate the close working relationship we have with Mayor Stutsman and the Goshen Police Department, and we will continue to work closely with them," Hope said.
If anyone has questions or concerns, they may call the GCS Administration Center at 574-533-8631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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