Students expelled following safety search

Members of the St. Marys Area School District Board of School Directors voted unanimously to expel 13 students during their regular meeting held Monday evening.Following the start of the meeting, a brief executive session was held to discuss student confidentiality matters. Three of the students were expelled permanently. When questioned as to the nature of the large number of student expulsions, SMASD Superintendent Ann Kearney said it was due to a violation of school policy. Kearney explained that a safety search was conducted on Friday as part of a combination of middle and high school efforts. She noted that the district's efforts are in line with those of schools across the state."We want to prevent situations where students bring weapons to school," Kearney said. "We want to keep a safe learning environment for students and will work to maintain this safe environment."She added that the search was conducted differently than in years past. Students were lined up inside the high school gymnasium and law enforcement from the City of St. Marys Police Department were on hand at the search. Faculty members also assisted. In instances when a student is expelled, the district is required to continue to provide them with an education. Kearney said students and their families may choose the option of homeschooling, cyber schooling or a combination depending on what best accommodates the student.