Students Suspended At City Elementary School For "Affiliation Wi - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Students Suspended At City Elementary School For "Affiliation With An Organized Gang"

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You might expect to find a gang in an area like this, plastered with graffiti and gang tags, not here at an elementary school in Fishtown. But parents tell Fox 29 more than 15 students at the school were suspended Thursday for "affiliation with an organized gang."

"I was beside myself at first," said a mother of one of the suspended student. "I was just like, a gang, my kid's in third grade. I don't know like what kind of gang is he in."

The mom, whose identity we agreed to withhold, says her 8 year old son was among the more than 15 third, fourth and fifth graders suspended by the principal for "instigation or participation in group assaults" at the Adaire Elementary School on East Palmer Street.

"My son's not a gang member, he's far from it," she told FOX 29."He's a good kid, always has been a good kid."

The mother of this third grader admits her son is not afraid to defend himself at school and she says he recently told stories about having to fight his way out of a boys bathroom.

"The fourth graders, two will come in and block the door, and there's one that charges at him," she explained "He said the only way out is to fight your way out."

The School District says 16 students, from 3rd to 5th grade, were suspended from school after a series of "minor incidents." There were no serious injuries and no police involvement. The students will remain suspended until a meeting between school officials and parents next week.

A spokesman for the police department says police have not been notified of "gang" activity at the school or the suspensions. He raised questions about why 7 and 8 year olds were being labeled with the word "gang", a term the police department doesn't use lightly. Referring to the principal at the school, the mom said,

"She wants that to follow him through school, wants it to follow him through high school. I worry about where's he going to be in the future."


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