Students and parents claim fights and drug use in Seaman Middle School bathrooms went unnoticed

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - One parent of a Seaman Middle School student told 13 News their child has had other students ask her to partake in drugs like cocaine in the bathrooms of the school. The principal said they are taking steps to ensure safety for students and parents.

“Coming home and telling me that she doesn’t necessarily feel safe all day. You know how does that make me feel to hear it and I’m sending her there for eight hours a day,” said the parent who did not want to be identified for her safety and the student.

The parent said the school lacks accountability for students acting out. In March, their child told them they were asked to do drugs in the school bathroom. They claim meth, cocaine, videos of edible marijuana and vape pens have been said to have been in the schools as well.

“She declined thankfully. However that really sparked the conversation of what’s going on,” the parent said.

School Principal Joshua Snyder sent a note to parents Tuesday saying they will now have increased preventive measures -- such as random backpack searches, the use of school surveillance systems, staff monitoring hallways, and K-9 unit searches led by trained officers.

In a statement to 13 News Tuesday night, Snyder said the measures will be in place the remainder of the school year, adding, “The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority.”

“I want us to have a positive impact,” said the parent. “I want this to make seem in a better district I wanted to go back to the way that it was because honestly, Seaman is better than this. They’re not really showing any other true colors right now.”

The school encourages students and parents to report suspicious activity through their “see something, say something” reporting system as well as call or email administration directly.

But, the parent said it has put kids in a tough position saying one student was in more trouble with other students following what the parent calls “tattle-telling” on the other student.

“Another student has basically been approached to do the same thing and that student has reported it to the administration and that student actually got beat up,” the parent said.

The parent said teachers have been known to break up altercations in the bathrooms and halls as well. Saying some have left with blood on their clothes trying to get students to stop.

The parent hopes the safety precautions put in will help the school but does not know if it will be enough.

No one from the district was available for an interview Tuesday. They told us they could speak with us further Wednesday, May 5.

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