In Oklahoma, hundreds of students go to court for school infractions

The schoolhouse fight began with a push from behind and a shout: “Jump him!”

Jeremy Green’s son was walking down the hall at Cimarron Middle School in Edmond when he felt the push. The eighth-grader said he spun around, and a shoving match ensued between him and two other boys.

The student told them to stop, but one of them wouldn’t. So Green’s son ended the March 3 fight by throwing a punch, leaving a cut under the other boy’s eye. Both he and the student he punched were punished with in-school suspension.

The student, whose name is not being disclosed because he is a juvenile, said he believed that would be the end of it, but the other boy’s parent pursued criminal charges over the punch. After reviewing the students’ written statements, a school resource officer wrote him a municipal citation for misdemeanor assault and battery.

The citation landed Green’s son in front of an Edmond municipal judge, who on Aug. 1 found him guilty after a 50-minute bench trial and sentenced him to four months of probation. He was ordered to pay the full price of the citation: $820.

More: School is back in session in Oklahoma. That comes with changes, challenges, and emotions

The boy said he felt he was acting in self-defense and should have been acquitted. His family came away from the experience frustrated and stressed, Green said. To take an eighth-grader to court over a fight he didn’t initiate was too punitive, Green said, especially after the school already had addressed the situation.

“He was simply trying to get someone off of him, and he feels like he can’t trust the justice system anymore,” Green said.

Green’s son is one of hundreds of Oklahoma students ticketed at school, a common practice applied when officials decide behavioral incidents violated city laws.

In Edmond Public Schools, middle and high school students received at least 476 tickets over the past three years for a range of juvenile offenses, most commonly for disorderly conduct and marijuana possession, according to Edmond Municipal Court records.

The Edmond Public Schools Board of Education building is pictured Jan.12.

The Edmond Public Schools Board of Education building is pictured Jan.12.

Fining students as a method of school discipline has come under scrutiny and even been outlawed in other states, including Texas and Illinois.

Some have criticized it for criminalizing behavior that could be handled in the principal’s office, initiating what many call the “school-to-prison pipeline.” That concept refers to school discipline procedures bringing students into contact with the court system at a young age and enhancing their chances of future justice involvement.

“That school-to-prison pipeline is started in these very situations, and that’s where I think our biggest concern is,” said Tamya Cox-Toure, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma.

Critics also complain the practice puts a heavier burden on poor and working-class families and disproportionately targets students of color, as The Oklahoman found with the only city that provided citation data broken down by race.

Cox-Toure says Oklahoma schools should divest from in-school police, called school resources officers (SROs), and instead hire more school counselors, nurses and social workers to address the root causes of behavior issues.

“Our opinion is just the presence of SROs definitely blurs the line between criminal activity — as you think of police officers and criminal activity — and youth behavior,” she said.

More: School meals were free for 2 years, but now lunch debt is back on the table in Oklahoma

How often do police ticket students in Oklahoma schools?

No law prohibits school-based ticketing in Oklahoma. In school districts where this occurs, administrators say it’s a way to respond to criminal behavior, get parents’ attention and connect students with counseling services.

“If this happened the mall, or if this happened in Target, what do you think would happen?” Edmond Superintendent Angela Grunewald said. “If that happens at school, you’re going to get a citation. It’s not necessarily because it happened at school. It’s because of what happened.”

In some districts, like Edmond, officers generally write tickets at the request of school administrators, city officials said, though there are exceptions as in Green’s case. Other districts, like Oklahoma City Public Schools, say only police officers decide whether to give a citation.

These tickets could come with a mandatory court date, weeks of probation or community service and a fine costing hundreds of dollars or more. Juvenile citations ranged in cost from $100 to $820 in Edmond, but some students paid more if they were charged with multiple offenses.

The most frequently penalized juvenile offense in Edmond schools was disorderly conduct, a $525 ticket often incurred for fighting or using profanity. Edmond police gave 213 disorderly conduct tickets to students in grades 6-12 over the past three years.

Edmond officers issued 152 tickets for possession of marijuana, the second most of any offense in the district in that timeframe. That’s a juvenile municipal charge that costs $725 in fines and program fees.



The Oklahoman was unable to obtain citation records for one Edmond district site, Summit Middle School. That school falls under the jurisdiction of the city of Oklahoma City, which refused to provide any data on juvenile cases, citing state laws that keep these cases under seal, though the law has an exception for “statistical information and other abstract information.” The Oklahoman is seeking to challenge the denial.

In Yukon, where 260 citations have been issued over three years, students as young as 12 and 13 were charged more than $800 for citations of assault and battery or marijuana possession, according to city records.

The most common citations in the district were truancy and possession of tobacco or vapor products. Officers have written tickets 85 times for each violation since 2020, records show. They come with fines of $146 and $171, respectively, but could cost hundreds of dollars more for repeat offenses.

The Yukon district treats tobacco-related cases with the “utmost seriousness” and requires students to complete an educational course if found possessing these products, said the district’s spokesperson, Kayla Agnitsch.

“In cases requiring disciplinary measures, the school collaborates closely with both the Yukon and Canadian County Police Departments,” Agnitsch said in a statement. “Moreover, all protocols and actions are consistently revised to align with the prevailing state laws.”

Truancy was the No. 1 reason for citations in Moore Public Schools. Officers gave out 68 truancy tickets to students and parents over the past three years. Disorderly conduct citations were a distant second with 20.

“Moore Public Schools knows that chronic absenteeism from school can have long-term negative consequences on the success and lives of our students,” the district’s spokesperson, Anna Aguilar, said. “MPS works in partnership with local authorities and allows them to enforce city ordinances and/or state law concerning truancy among our students and their families with the goal of growing an educated and strong district.”

However, research hasn’t shown ticketing is an effective method of improving student attendance. In South Carolina, students had poorer attendance on average after becoming involved with the juvenile justice system, according to a 2020 study by the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

What’s proven to help attendance rates is to learn and address the specific reason for a student’s absences, said Hedy Chang, executive director of Attendance Works, a national nonprofit focused on resolving chronic absenteeism.

Chang said another important method is to ensure school is a positive place where students want to be, a place where they feel engaged, connected and hopeful about the future.

“There’s nothing about ticketing kids for truancy that addresses any of that,” Chang said. “If you ticket a child, it’s not a strategy for understanding why kids might miss in the first place. If tickets come with fines and one of the reasons kids are missing school are issues of poverty … then, in fact, fining kids and their families could exacerbate some of the underlying issues that cause them to miss school in the first place.”

More: Students are back in school. What’s new in Oklahoma education?

Why are Oklahoma students ticketed at school?

Grasping the scope of student ticketing in Oklahoma is a challenge. Some municipalities refused to provide records, citing juvenile confidentiality laws, that would show the number of times they prosecuted adolescents and teenagers over school-based complaints. Not all cities that reported this information included the age or race of affected students.

Ten years ago, Texas prohibited police officers from ticketing students while on their school campus, but young people in the state still can be arrested, criminally charged or referred to juvenile probation over school-based incidents.

Most of these arrests and criminal complaints are for low-level infractions, according to a report by Texas Appleseed, a public interest justice center that has researched ticketing, arrests and policing in schools. Researchers found Black, Latino and LGBTQ+ students were disproportionally impacted.

These disparities are evident in Yukon, the only municipality to provide The Oklahoman with citation records broken down by gender and race.

Black students received 14% of the tickets issued in Yukon Public Schools, despite making up 4.5% of the district’s student population. They also received the highest average fines, $473 at the district’s middle school and $346 at Yukon High School. White students paid 16% less on average at the middle school and almost 20% less at the high school, an Oklahoman analysis found.

Yukon officials did not respond to a question about the disparities.

After more than a decade of research, Texas Appleseed has yet to find any empirical or anectdotal evidence showing citations improve academic results, limit truancy and reduce disciplinary referrals, said Andrew Hairston, director of the center’s Education Justice Project.

“It further pushes children out, further makes them feel isolated from their peers (and) from the school environments at large, and ultimately can set them on a course where young people might end up in the criminal legal system in their teenage years or in their 20s and 30s,” Hairston said.

Grading Oklahoma: A visual look at education in our state

Multiple Oklahoma school districts said they don’t keep citation records, and their procedures regulating police involvement with students differ by school district, sometimes even by school.

The Oklahoman contacted the 10 largest brick-and-mortar school districts in the state, which represent 215,000 of Oklahoma’s 701,000 students in public schools. Eight of those districts confirmed students are ticketed in their schools when behaviors are deemed a violation of local laws.

The Oklahoman did not include the state’s third-largest district, Epic Charter School, in the survey because its education is primarily virtual.

Ticketing is often treated as a “last tool” in Broken Arrow Public Schools, the sixth-largest district in the state, said Derek Blackburn, executive director of student services. But if a fight is particularly violent, the students involved could be ticketed even on their first offense.

Blackburn said citations have become more necessary because parents and students no longer view suspensions with the same gravity.

“That citation piece is trying to get the attention of parents, saying this behavior is not acceptable and we need your help,” Blackburn said.

The city of Broken Arrow declined to provide any records tallying the number of juvenile citations in Broken Arrow schools, contending the information is confidential.

In Oklahoma City, where the municipal court also refused to turn over these records, school district officials say a citation leads to required counseling classes, which otherwise wouldn’t be mandatory.

“There’s a host of services that come through the city of Oklahoma City that come through probation, including drug testing, therapy and counseling,” said Wayland Cubit, the Oklahoma City district’s director of security and a retired police lieutenant. “Literally, the citation is the on-ramp to those youth services that you want to get to a kid.”

These resources should be provided without penalizing a student in court and enforcing burdensome fines, said Hairston, of Texas Appleseed. Instead of punitive measures, Hairston encouraged schools instead to consider restorative discipline practices that respond to misbehavior with peer mediation and promote building a community within the classroom.

Lawton and Tulsa Public Schools were the only school districts of the 10 largest in the state that said they explicitly don’t condone ticketing on their campuses.

Lawton aims for a purely educational environment within its schools and prefers students view campus police officers as a layer of protection, not an arm of discipline, said Jason James, chief operations officer.

The district’s campus police force is told to patrol outside school buildings to focus on guarding against external threats, James said. In instances of drug or weapon possession, officers will enter a Lawton school, collect evidence and write a police report, not a ticket. City or county prosecutors then decide whether to take the matter to court.

“Sometimes our teachers think that when there’s two kids that get into a fight that that’s a criminal act that needs to be handled by police,” James said. “We just don’t see it that way. We think that’s a behavior issue that our administrators can handle.”

Tulsa Public Schools outlined its potential discipline in a behavioral response plan. Court referrals and citations aren’t on it.

That’s because the school district believes in a more comprehensive approach, said Jorge Robles, Tulsa’s chief finance and operations officer.

“Ticketing might be focused on the symptom, and you’re not really focused on what’s behind that (behavior),” Robles said. “It’s more of a reaction that loses power over time.”

What happens after a student receives a ticket?

Edmond students who receive a ticket first meet with a compliance officer at the municipal court. In that initial interview, families usually decide whether to go to trial or take a plea deal and enter straight into juvenile probation.

The probation process is meant to be rehabilitative, said Yolanda Whitlow, the city’s municipal court administrator. Students are required to complete community service and take a course that relates to their offense, often for anger management, counseling or substance abuse education.

“Our main goal is to help you. Sometimes the offense, it’s just a cry for help,” Whitlow said. “If we can help that child to turn around, that’s what we focus on.”

Unlike for adults, these classes are mandatory for juveniles on probation in Edmond, and the $240 cost to take these courses is added to students’ citation fees.

Edmond’s municipal judge, Diane Slayton, said the court covers probation costs for juveniles whose families are in financial hardship.

“The fines and costs are the absolute least of my concern, but I do always tell a kid that getting in trouble costs money,” Slayton said. “What fines and costs we have now would be nothing really compared to what they may be facing when they turn 18 with this kind of behavior.”

Green, whose son was ticketed in Edmond, said the juvenile court experience has been the opposite of restorative. Instead, he said it’s been a financial burden — not only the $820 fine, but the hours of work he missed to deal with the situation.

His son will have to complete four months of probation and 50 hours of community service, along with paying the fine.

“They claim to do this to help the child,” Green said. “They say it’s not harmful in any way. It is very harmful. You’re treated like you’re guilty right away without any chance to prove your innocence.”

Green said testimony and evidence at his son’s municipal trial focused solely on the punch the boy threw. He said he was cut off any time he tried to establish what happened before or after the act. He had considered hiring an attorney, but a law firm he contacted told him to save his money, there wasn’t much they could do, Green said.

Among the only pieces of evidence was a statement his son wrote the day of the incident in which he reported punching the other boy in self-defense, he said. The eighth-grader told The Oklahoman he thought this should have acquitted him, but instead he said he learned telling the truth “doesn’t help in this situation.”

“I’ve never been to court,” he said, “but after this incident, I don’t trust it at all.”

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Police ticket hundreds of Oklahoma students for school infractions

Dayton-area students are still struggling with mental health

More than three years after the COVID-19 pandemic started, school-aged kids are still feeling the mental health impacts, which can spill over to the classroom.

“If students are experiencing anxiety or depression, they’re not able to concentrate on the lesson, so therefore they’re not getting their academic content,” said Jill Dudley, a licensed school counselor for Dayton Christian School.

Statewide, expulsions rose by 29% between the 2017-2018 school year and the 2021-2022 school year, reversing a downward trend. But suspensions, both in-school and out-of-school, fell by 11% — meaning that when kids got in trouble, they were in serious trouble.

The pandemic may have also stunted their communication skills, requiring more effort to teach kids how to relate to one another in person again.

“I think we’re still experiencing an increase in the rate of mental health concerns in children and adolescents,” said Dr. Kelly Blankenship, Dayton Children’s associate chief medical officer for behavioral health.

Suicide in 2021, the most recent year available, was the 12th leading cause of death overall in Ohio, and was the second leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10 to 34. However, the number of deaths stayed below the 10-year high of 1,836 suicide deaths reported in 2018.

Nationally, early data on suicides from 2022 suggest an increase of 2.6% in total, though for people 10-24 years old it went down 8.4%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Blankenship described experiences she had with teenagers who survived suicide attempts and were admitted to Dayton Children’s behavioral unit.

“A couple of them have told me that they are crying because they’re still alive, that they expected to be dead after the suicide attempt,” Blankenship said. “That, to me, speaks to how dire the situation is for these kids.”

The pandemic was a crisis, Blankenship said, and even though the public health emergency is over and classroom settings are generally back to pre-pandemic styles, sometimes there is a delayed response after the crisis is over.

What is causing this distress?

Kids are dealing with academics, new school environments, economic challenges at home and conflict with loved ones, among other issues. A student might be homeless, have an abusive parent, be struggling with their English class because they don’t speak English well, or have a family member deployed overseas.

“I think you’re going to have different worries when you’re looking at elementary versus middle school versus high school, but I think you have a combination of academic and social issues that are in play for all of those ages,” said Dr. Anessa Alappatt, a family medicine physician with Premier Health’s Fairborn Medical Center.

Kids who struggle with food insecurity can qualify for free breakfast and lunch at school, but they may still lack clothes or school supplies.

Many schools have supply closets for students in those circumstances, including Dayton Public and Huber Heights.

Sheree Coffman, district student assistance coordinator for Northmont schools. said her team is notified whenever someone new comes into the schools. In this region, often a new student has a member of their family in the military. Coffman says she asks kids if their parents are deployed as that can be an additional stress.

Coffman said the transition years — in Northmont, seventh and ninth grade — can be difficult for students. Northmont opens school buildings a day early for those kids to allow them to familiarize themselves with the building without older kids.

The constant connection to cell phones and social media can be a curse.

“If you’re feeling down because of a conflict, and then you’re getting constant messages or texts that make you feel even worse over and over again. There’s no break from it,” Blankenship said.

Kids compare themselves to others on social media, which can offer an unrealistic portrayal of everyday life, Coffman said.

Kids dealing with stress, whether from conflicts with friends or other challenges, may have a difficult time concentrating in class.

Outside influences on the classroom

Some parents are concerned by attempts from politicians to limit what teachers can say and do, looking at states with laws on what teachers can discuss in the classroom and what books are permitted in schools.

Bradley Garwood, an Oakwood parent, said he is worried about changes seen in other states like Florida, such as book bans or banning topics relating to mental health. He argues that’s removing tools from a teacher’s toolbox.

This becomes an added stressor to teachers, as well as students who are already in a vulnerable position.

“You might have a kid who is part of the LGTBQ community who can’t talk about it with their teacher who’s supposed to be a trusted person that kind of guides them in a really critical and vulnerable time in their development,” Garwood said.

This may spur a generation of kids who are afraid to ask questions, he said.

“I can’t imagine how that wouldn’t affect your mental health,” Garwood said.

What can schools do?

Across the region, districts have hired school counselors and licensed therapists to help kids cope with the after-effects of the pandemic.

All school districts have guidance counselors available, and others have mental health therapists on staff. Some districts have added social workers to the payroll.

Districts including Kettering, Troy, Bellbrook, Springfield and Oakwood have mental health counselors available to students. Others, including Miamisburg, Northmont, Dayton, Trotwood, and Beavercreek have social workers and therapists available. Social workers can help students dealing with homelessness, for example, while therapists can teach coping skills and discuss mental well-being.

Many districts also contract with outside services to give kids who need licensed professional therapy additional help. Almost every district uses social and emotional learning, which focuses on identifying feelings and working on skills to foster healthy relationships throughout their lives.

Miamisburg superintendent Laura Blessing said the district chose to include safety and a sense of belonging as part of the district’s five-year strategic plan in 2021. That’s because if a student doesn’t feel safe on top of being well-fed and warm, it is difficult for that kid to learn.

That shift in education is called the “whole child” approach, which more districts have been implementing in recent years. But not all districts have mental health as a guiding principle of the school day.

“It’s not only about the reading, writing and arithmetic, it’s about how their emotional health is or physical health,” Blessing said.

The business and faith communities in Miamisburg have stepped up to help students, Blessing said, which can help them feel a sense of belonging in the community. Those partners have donated money and time, whether it’s gathering school supplies for an entire school or supporting social-emotional learning in after-school care.

Blessing, like Coffman, says she’s seen an improvement in the mental health of students. While she said there’s still work to be done, the most improvement she sees is among elementary school kids.

“What we’re seeing is a very optimistic view of kids’ resiliency,” Coffman said.

Many kids struggled with interacting with each other after the pandemic, Coffman said. That meant they got angry faster and maybe started a fight instead of talking it out, or started vaping as an unhealthy way to cope with stress.

When students do have consequences for their actions, Blessing and Coffman said it’s important to give students tools to react better in the future.

Northmont asks kids to model good behavior, such as high school athletes talking about bullying to younger kids, or the Hope Squad, which is a group of kids identified by their peers as good listeners.

“Kids will talk to kids before, stereotypically, they’ll talk to an adult,” Coffman said.

The voice of a peer carries a lot of weight, Coffman said, but there still needs to be adult supervision and not too much pressure on a student. It’s very clear to members of the Hope Squad that if a student tells another they are contemplating suicide, that’s an immediate report to an adult.

“When we’re talking about mental health problems, those are adults, they are trained,” she said.

What can parents do?

Imposing breaks from cellphones or screen time limits, depending on the child’s age, can be helpful, Blankenship said. She suggested having rules of not using the phone or texting when at the dinner table or during family time. Parents can also charge their kids’ cellphones in the parents’ room, so the kids aren’t interrupted through the night with messages.

Kids who feel anxious about going to school can get headaches and stomach aches, doctors say. But it is often associated with other disorders, like anxiety and depression, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

If the child is presenting physical symptoms, an evaluation by a physician may be needed to rule out any underlying medical problems.

Doctors also recommend addressing school refusal with a collaborative approach that includes the family physician, school staff, parents, and a mental health professional, the American Academy of Family Physicians said.

Parents should also try to actively engage their children in conversation, asking open-ended questions. This can help parents connect with their kids, but also see if their kids are experiencing distress or symptoms of anxiety or depression.

“The more we can get parents connecting with their kids, the sooner that kids will really start talking to their parents about what’s going on, and if there is something bad going on, or if they’re feeling bad,” Blakenship said. “The parents can help the kids work through this, but if the parents don’t know what’s going on, they can’t help the kids.”

Conversation starters

Five Rivers MetroParks has guided nature walks available with questions for parents to ask their children at four locations in the Montgomery County parks, including at Eastwood, Huffman, Possum Creek and Sunrise MetroParks.

“More than ever, people need a place to re-center and find calm and balance,” said Bernadette Whitworth, program coordinator at Five Rivers MetroParks. “Nature can be calming, help people de-stress and can have a positive impact on mental health.”

For conversation starters or other resources, parents can visit

Annual LMU Women of Service fashion show gives back to students

HARROGATE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Lincoln Memorial University’s Women of Service Fashion Show kicked off Thursday night.

LMU’s Women of Service organization raises money and creates scholarships for students. They also organize food pantries on and off campus. They’ve provided more than a dozen scholarships to women to continue their education.

WVLT’s Casey Wheeless emceed the event.

The event featured more than a dozen local businesses with about 300 people attending at Tex Turner Arena in Harrogate.

Emotions run high as students begin on-campus life

USC move-in day: Sebastian and Cindy Sampedro

Sebastian and Cindy Sampedro haul luggage and other belongings during USC move-ins. (Photo/Greg Hernandez)

With the help of their parents, USC freshmen Isis Teng and Olivia Knowles were busy moving into the same floor of Birnkrant Residential College around the same time on Wednesday. But their journeys to this monumental day could not have been more different.

USC move-ins: Sunny, Isis and Lichunchu Teng

Sunny and Lichunchgu Teng help daughter Isis get settled. (Photo/Greg Hernandez)

Teng arrived after a 15-hour flight from her home in Taipei, Taiwan, while Knowles had an approximately one-hour drive from Newport Beach. They were among the approximately 8,700 first-year, returning, transfer and graduate students making themselves at home in USC’s residential colleges during move-in week, which concluded Wednesday.

“I’m really excited but a little bit nervous,” said Teng, who will study at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “We’ve been buying supplies, and it was my first time in a Target store. It was really big.”

Teng’s father, Sunny, was busy hooking up his daughter’s computer, and her mother, Lichunchgu, was hanging clothes in the closet.

“This is a very good chance for my daughter to live on her own, a good opportunity,” her dad said. “I will miss her, but she will be fine here.”

USC move-in day: C.C., Olivia and Chris Knowles

C.C., Olivia and Chris Knowles show their USC pride while moving in. (Photo/Greg Hernandez)

Meanwhile, Knowles’ father, Chris, was smiling widely as he wheeled a bin filled with his daughter’s belongings down the hall. Chris Knowles is a two-time Trojan alum who was a member of the USC men’s volleyball team. His daughter is majoring in choral and sacred music at the USC Thornton School of Music.

“It’s really nice to have my dad be the muscles and my mom the driving force behind a lot of the packing,” the new Trojan said.

Ex-choir director claims students’ allegations of sexual harassment is extortion

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An ex-Jeff choir director claims he was extorted by allegations of sexual harassments by students wanting to avoid punishment for being high at rehearsal, according to Ja’Shon Burks’ response to two students’ civil lawsuits.

One week after Lafayette Jeff High School choir members showed up for rehearsal stoned, some of the students accused Burks of sexual harassment as a way to “extort” their teacher and avoid punishment, Burks claimed in his responses filed last week.

As a result of the students’ allegations, Burks was put on administrative leave on Sept. 28, 2022 — the day the students reported Burks’ alleged sexual harassment. He later resigned rather than face termination, ending his three-year employment with the Lafayette School Corp.

“(T)he senior leaders and dance captains told Burks that there were students who had smoked marijuana prior to the evening’s rehearsal and those students went to the rehearsal high or under the influence of marijuana,” Burks stated in the eight-page written response to the allegations two students filed in a civil lawsuit in June.

These students bragged about being high at rehearsal on social media, according to Burks’ response.

“(S)everal students threatened to ‘blackmail’ or ‘extort’ Burks if the students who were high or under the influence of marijuana at the evening rehearsal were found to be in trouble by Burks or by school administrators,” the ex-choir director states in his response, which includes a counter claim against the two Jane Does and their parents who field the civil suits against him.

More: Parents’ lawsuit against former Jefferson choir director alleges groomer behavior

He was criminally charged in June with 11 counts of child seduction and four counts of sexual battery, accusing him of inappropriately interacting with his students who were girls. His trial currently is scheduled for Oct. 10.

The criminal charges accuse Burks of touching his students in a sexual manner, including giving the girls hugs while his hands were under their shirts on their bare skin, as well as touching the girls’ buttocks while hugging them. Additionally, he is accused of putting his hands on victims’ thighs near their crotch, touching the girls’ buttocks and waists.

He is also accused of giving the girls’ kisses on their cheeks and foreheads, having girls sit on his lap in his office, as well as telling some of the girls he’d leave his wife to sexually be with them, according to prosecutors.

School surveillance cameras recorded some of the specific incidents reported by the girls, according to prosecutors.

In Burks’ counter claim to the civil lawsuit plaintiffs, Burks denies all of the claims of misconduct against him.

“Jane Doe along with other students made malice communications that imputed: A. criminal conduct: (B) misconduct in Burks’s (sic) trade, profession or occupation, or (C) sexual misconduct,” Burks counter claim states.

“Jane Doe’s extreme and outrageous communications and or statements intentionally or recklessly caused severe distress to Burks,” the counter claim states. “That Burks is entitled to presumed, punitive and compensatory damages in a reasonable amount to compensate him for his pain, suffering, humiliation, and emotional distress.”

In his response to the students’ allegations against him, Burks denied any wrongdoing, as did Lafayette School Corp. in its response to the students’ claims that the school district breached its responsibility to protect its students from Burks.

No trial dates have been set in the civil case against Burks and Lafayette schools.

Reach Ron Wilkins at Follow on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Ex-choir director: Students’ allegations of harassment is extortion

With students back in classrooms, schools work to deal with ongoing heat

Following the hottest July on record, school districts in some of the most sweltering cities in the United States are preparing to start the academic year while working to keep their students cool and ready to learn.

In Florida’s Lee County School District, which welcomed students back Aug. 10 amid record-breaking heat, following strict heat index guidelines helps keep students safe, said Irma Lancaster, director of communications. Heat index is the relative humidity combined with air temperature.

At a heat index of 91 degrees Fahrenheit to 103 F, physical outdoor activity time is cut in half and students are provided with a water break every 10 minutes. At a heat index of 104 F to 125 F, students are moved to cool areas and outdoor events are likely to be rescheduled.

“We don’t like to go off the temperature,” Lancaster said. “We like to go off of what it feels like, because that’s really what our kiddos will be feeling.”

Phoenix Continues To Suffer Through Its Worst Heat Wave On Record (Mario Tama / Getty Images file)

Phoenix Continues To Suffer Through Its Worst Heat Wave On Record (Mario Tama / Getty Images file)

In Phoenix, which recorded daily highs at or above 110 F for 31 consecutive days in July, daily heat index is also carefully monitored by schools, said Michael Mannelly, chief financial officer of the Phoenix Elementary School District, which opened classrooms during the first week of August.

Under certain heat index conditions, students are restricted from outdoor activity and teachers stay on high alert for signs of heat stress in students. Kelly Turner, an associate professor of urban planning and geography at the University of California Los Angeles said physical movement and unstructured free time are necessary components of learning.

At Dunbar Elementary School in downtown Phoenix, hot days mean having free time to use the school’s air-conditioned science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics laboratory. The school also offers planned activities, such as dancing, games and more, in its gymnasium on extreme heat days.

“Once it gets hot outside, students choose the activity that suits them best,” said Crystal Famania, a teacher at Dunbar Elementary School. “Having those choices for them and having activities that they enjoy doing is great for us all — it makes the students excited, it makes the teachers excited, and it makes school fun.”

Hot classrooms can be detrimental for both student health and education. One 2020 study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, covering 12,000 school districts, found that testing conditions above 80 F negatively affected standardized test scores.

Another 2023 study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that projected global temperature increases due to climate change could reduce annual academic achievement for students, and even impact their future income.

“If kids don’t feel well or are angry or can’t concentrate, then of course they won’t test well,” Turner said. “Children’s bodies are not the same as adults. They are more vulnerable to extreme heat.”

For many other school districts, coping with extreme heat can be difficult. Lack of adequate air conditioning is a serious issue, with one 2020 assessment by the Government Accountability Office finding that more than 36,000 schools in the U.S. public school system need to update their  heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

In central Louisiana, Rapides Parish School District spent the summer evaluating its HVAC systems to make appropriate repairs for keeping students cool,  Superintendent Jeff Powell said in an interview with NBC affiliate KALB-TV. In July, temperatures in the school district were up to 10 F higher than average, hovering in the high 90s into the 100s.

Many schools across the country have facets that retain heat, Turner said — asphalt-covered schoolyards and artificial turf grass act as heat absorbers that raise the overall air temperature. Many schools are also low-lying, single-story buildings with little to no tree cover or green spaces, she said, and thus provide very little shade for students.

In a policy brief for California lawmakers, Turner and her colleagues outlined several steps schools should take to help adapt to extreme heat, including planting more trees and creating green spaces, implementing indoor air temperature standards and installing shade structures.

“Extreme heat is our new reality,” she said. “Hot seasons will be longer and more intense, and for many children, school is the only place with air conditioning. It’s something schools are going to have to contend with more and more.”

Nidhi Sharm reported from New York City, and Dana Griffin and Ashlee Trujillo from Washington, D.C.

This article was originally published on

Rosenwald Schools helped educate Black students in segregated South. Could a national park follow?

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) — As Ralph James settled into the restored, highbacked desk at the segregated school he attended in rural South Carolina, he remembered the old school bell, the cascading light through tall windows, the Christmas pageant and the basketball court just outside.

It was in schools like this one, and nearly 5,000 others built in the American South a century ago, that Black students largely ignored by whites in power gained an educational foundation through the generosity of a Jewish businessman who could soon be memorialized with a national park.

They are now called Rosenwald Schools in honor of Julius Rosenwald, a part-owner and eventual president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., who teamed up with African American educator and leader Booker T. Washington to create the program to share the expenses of schools for Black children with the community.

It was nothing short of revolutionary in a segregated place like South Carolina, where governments spent pennies to teach Black children and dollars on white students.

“Education has always been the key to success. Julius Rosenwald gave us that key,” James said.

The 76-year-old retired municipal judge has made it his life’s goal to restore his old school. In the past decade, James has secured more than $2 million in grants, money from the state and gifts from corporations and others.

The payoff is near. South Carolina’s governor is scheduled to visit the renovated Rosenwald School in St. George on Tuesday as it hosts a meeting for electric cooperatives. A grand opening is planned for September.

A nationwide movement is underway to tell the Rosenwald Schools story to more people. After a request from Congress, the National Park Service is studying how to create a national park to honor Rosenwald. A visitors center about his life would be in Chicago and the project may also include about five schools across the 15 Southern states that were home to the buildings.

Rosenwald gave $20 million to his foundation to build schools and $4 million more to other African American education and welfare causes. That would be worth about $440 million today.

It was still less than half of the money Rosenwald donated in his life to other causes including Jewish charities, hospital construction, scientific research and war relief, according to a report from The Campaign To Create a Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park.

Rosenwald was the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany and saw in African Americans a chance to help another oppressed group willing to invest what little it could in its own future, said Dorothy Canter, a former Environmental Protection Agency scientist leading the national park effort. Canter was inspired to get involved after seeing a 2015 documentary on Rosenwald.

The Jewish community often saw in the Black community the same kind of violent repression they suffered in Europe, she said.

The Rosenwald Schools story is crucial to the modern success of the United States, and showing how different groups working together to create a better society when those in power did not want to help is an important lesson, Canter said.

“Where would the Civil Rights movement be? Where would John Lewis, Medgar Evers or Maya Angelou have gotten their education?” she said.

Education for Black children was an afterthought in the South in the generations after the end of slavery. More than 51% of South Carolina’s population were classified as “negro” in the 1920 census. But in 1927, the state spent $14.9 million on white students and $1.7 million on Black students, according to the education superintendent’s annual report to the Legislature.

The Rosenwald Fund helped build 481 schools in South Carolina. Only North Carolina (787) and Mississippi (557) had more.

Photographer Andrew Feiler, who is fascinated by Rosenwald’s story, has taken photos of more than 100 Rosenwald schools and plans to be at the St. George event Tuesday. For him, Rosenwald’s legacy is giving while you’re living, as well as pioneering the modern idea of a matching grant by providing seed money and requiring community support.

“We often believe problems are intractable in modern America, especially those related to race,” Feiler said. “But this partnership between African Americans and a Jewish businessman shows concerted, focused action really can make a difference.”

About 500 Rosenwald Schools remain standing and roughly half are still in a condition to be used, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

A two-room Rosenwald School in Gifford, South Carolina, was built in 1920 but is barely upright today. It closed in 1958 and was taken over by a church that had donated the land. Community meetings, concerts and family reunions were held there, but ultimately it fell into disrepair.

Charlie Grant is trying to secure the money to restore the building but hasn’t found the same support as St. George.

“I would hope to see it done in my lifetime. But if it’s not, that’s OK too,” Grant said. “I always go back to scripture. There was a Moses and there was a Joshua. Maybe I’m moving in the steps of Moses and somebody will come along and catch the vision and represent Joshua.”

Grant has a vision of the old school transformed into a community center with a small museum honoring Black gospel quartets: singing groups who crisscrossed the South during Jim Crow selling records with popular songs of hope and faith. The building is already on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Other Rosenwald schools have been converted into senior centers, town halls, special event venues or restaurants. Many remain recognizable by the careful plans Rosenwald approved. Tall windows oriented to the east and west assured an abundance of natural light and ventilation in rural areas where electricity often didn’t reach until after the Great Depression.

In St. George, the vision isn’t just restoring the school, but providing a sense of the thriving African American neighborhood surrounding it during segregation. Businesses including a grocery store, barber shop and pool hall benefitted the Black community.

Inside the restored school, two classrooms look almost as they did 70 years ago. Another classroom is a public meeting room. The auditorium has been turned into a multipurpose space and will have exhibits detailing the school’s history and hands-on science displays, James said.

“You can feel what it was like just like I did,” he said.

Pope Francis urges students in Portugal to fight economic injustice and protect the environment

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Pope Francis challenged university students on Thursday to make the world a more just and inclusive place, as he focused the second day of his Portugal trip on inspiring young people to use their privilege to combat global warming and economic inequalities.

Francis received a warm welcome at the Catholic University, one of Portugal’s top institutions of higher learning, where students broke into periodic papal chants under an already bright sun on the central Lisbon campus.

After the event, Francis was heading to the seaside town of Cascais to visit the local branch of his Scolas Occurrentes foundation, a movement he founded years ago to bring young people from different backgrounds and nationalities together.

Francis is in Lisbon through the weekend to attend World Youth Day, the big Catholic jamboree that St. John Paul II launched in the 1980s to encourage young Catholics in their faith. Francis has picked up John Paul’s mantle with gusto as he seeks to inspire the next generation to rally behind his key social justice, economic and environmental priorities.

In his remarks Thursday, Francis urged the students to take risks and reject the temptation to merely perpetuate the status quo — the “present global system of elitism and inequality” — with an attitude of self-preservation.

“An academic degree should not be seen merely as a license to pursue personal well-being, but as a mandate to work for a more just and inclusive — that is, truly progressive — society,” he said.

Francis urged the students to instead use the privilege of their education to work for the common good, especially in caring for the environment, the poor and marginalized. He said that current promises to curb global warming have amounted to mere “halfway measures (that) simply delay the inevitable disaster.”

“Yours can be the generation that takes up this great challenge. You have the most advanced scientific and technological tools, but please, avoid falling into the trap of myopic and partial approaches,” he said.

“We need to align the tragedy of desertification with that of refugees, the issue of increased migration with that of a declining birth rate, and to see the material dimension of life within the greater purview of the spiritual.”

Rather than polarized approaches, Francis said, “We need a unified vision, a vision capable of embracing the whole.”


Associated Press religion coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

Two victims were Nottingham University students

Two of the victims killed during a city centre knife and van attack were students from the University of Nottingham, it has been confirmed.

An eyewitness has claimed they heard “blood-curdling screams” before a man and woman were attacked with a knife on Ilkeston Road. Police found two bodies on the street, while a man was later found dead in Magdala Road.

One student told the Telegraph: “They just got unlucky. They were five minutes from home and got stabbed by a random guy.”

The university has now confirmed two of its students were among the three killed.

Nottinghamshire Police say they are keeping an ‘open mind’ over the motive of the attacks as they work alongside counter terror police and say no-one else in wanted in connection with the attacks.

Follow for live updates.

04:16 PM

University of Nottingham statement in full

“It is with great sadness that we confirm the sudden and unexpected death of two of our students following a major incident in Nottingham city centre overnight.

“We are shocked and devastated by the news and our thoughts are with those affected, their families and friends. We know this is likely to cause distress for staff and students in our community.

“Support is available through our support and wellbeing services for any of our community who may need it.”

04:13 PM

University confirms two students killed

The University of Nottingham has said two of the three people killed in Tuesday’s attacks were students at the university

03:58 PM

Emmanuel Macron – France shares grief over Nottingham attacks

President Macron has said France “shares the grief” with Britain after Tuesday’s attack in Nottingham and “stand by their side”.

03:53 PM

Vigil scheduled for 5pm

Nottingham City Council leader David Mellen has told BBC Radio Nottingham a vigil for the victims will be held at 5pm outside St Peter’s Church in the city centre.

He said:

“Nottingham is a city where people get on well together, people live in harmony, people work together.

“To have this shocking incident break into that harmony is truly awful and whatever the motives, we would want to stand against them.”

03:44 PM

Graduation ball cancelled following attacks

The University of Nottingham Students’ Union confirmed it has cancelled Tuesday’s graduation ball following the attacks.

The organisation said it was “devastated and shocked” by the attacks that took place, leaving three people dead and three in hospital.

In a statement, the SU said: “We stand in solidarity with all our students and the wider city, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those harmed, alongside those directly and indirectly affected by the unfolding of these terrible events.

“In light of this, we have made the decision to cancel Grad Ball this evening.

“Attendees will be contacted in due course, but in the meantime we are continuing to work with the university and relevant authorities to understand the situation.”

03:41 PM

Injured attack victims ‘were waiting at bus stop’

Among those injured in the Nottingham attacks when a van attempted to run them over were waiting at a bus stop, the leader of Nottingham City Council has told the BBC.

In an updated statement, Nottinghamshire Police said one man was left critically injured after an attempted attack in Milton Street. Two others were left with minor injuries.

Speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham about the injured, council leader David Mellen said their “only crime was to be waiting at a bus stop early in the morning”.

03:36 PM

Updated police statement in full

03:27 PM

Student – We received text urging us to reassure families

A university student has told how text messages were sent to undergraduates urging them to contact their families to put their minds at ease in the wake of the deadly attack in Nottingham city centre.

Niamh, a 19-year-old nursing student who declined to give her second name, said: “It is just absolutely horrifying. My friends and I were out just last week and came back at exactly this time so it just makes you think, ‘What if?’

“Luckily we had an exam today so we just had a chilled one at home. But when we woke up and heard the news we were messaging all around to make sure everyone was ok.

“Then our accommodation texted everyone to tell them to message their families and say we weren’t involved. I have had so many messages from worried people that I have replied to to say I am still alive. It is beyond scary.

“Obviously it is a tragedy whoever has lost their life, but we are just praying that when the names come out it isn’t someone we know.”

03:23 PM

‘Awful, blood-curdling screams’: How Nottingham attack unfolded

Telegraph reporters Robert Mendick, Patrick Sawer and Max Stephens have reconstructed the deadly attacks in Nottingham, which unfolded from 4am.

Residents had been struggling to sleep anyway because of the heat.

With their windows open they couldn’t help but hear the blood-curdling screams.

A young woman repeatedly shouted for help as she watched a male friend being stabbed and slashed by a knifeman dressed all in black.

The attacker then turned to the woman, killing her as well.

Read more here.

03:17 PM

Pictured: Armed police break down door in raid

New pictures show the moment armed police broke down the door of a property in Ilkeston Road as they carried out a raid in connection with attacks that have left three people dead and one critically injured.

Forensic investigators also combed the road and were seen checking bins outside the address.



armed police

armed police





03:11 PM

Students receive letters from university

Students said they had received letters from the university in the wake of the attacks in the city, Catherine Lough reports.

The Telegraph has been told the note says: “hope you’re all OK make sure you text your family, you’ll see a lot of media coverage around that’s why if you feel uncomfortable direct them to us”.

The university said a team member located at the reception of the accommodation would be there to support students.

There is no confirmation yet on if the university’s Grab Ball, scheduled for tonight, will take place.

03:07 PM

Victim in Magdala Road ‘had been stabbed’

Delivery driver Miklos Toldi, 37, and his wife Petra have told the Telegraph they found the body of the man in Magdala Road as they headed to work at around 5.30am, Patrick Sawer reports.

They live just 100 yards from where the body was found and stopped their car at the same time as another motorist.

Mr Toldi, a Hungarian national, said the victim had clearly been stabbed. He described the man as mid-60s with grey hair and black trousers.

He said: “I saw the body lying in the street. There was blood trailing down the road. The blood looked as if it was fresh. He was lying on his side, his mouth was open and there was no movement.”

Mr Toldi said it took the police only about two or three minutes to arrive at the scene following a 999 call.

“His knuckles were also covered in blood,” said Mr Toldi. “It was a big shock. I’m ok but I am worried about my wife.”

02:59 PM

Two victims believed to be University of Nottingham students

Two of the victims killed in Nottingham during a knife and van attack are believed to be students from the University of Nottingham, the Telegraph understands.

An eyewitness has claimed they heard “blood-curdling screams” before a man and woman were attacked with a knife on Ilkeston Road. Police found two bodies on the street, while a man was later found dead in Magdala Road.

One student told the Telegraph: “They just got unlucky. They were five minutes from home and got stabbed by a random guy.”

The University of Nottingham did not provide comment when approached by The Telegraph.

02:45 PM

Chief Constable – Safe to go into city centre

She continues: “We are keeping an open mind as we investigate the circumstances surrounding these incidents and are working alongside Counter Terrorism Policing to establish the facts – as we would normally do in these types of circumstances.

“We do have a man in custody who has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Currently, we do not believe there is anyone else involved in this incident.

“It is safe to go into the city centre but there are a number of streets that will remain closed including Ilkeston Road, Magdala Street, Milton Street and Maple Street. This is so officers can gather evidence in order to understand what has happened.”

02:44 PM

Chief Constable – We need to determine motives behind attacks

Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “This is a tragic series of events which has led to the lives of three innocent people being taken and left another member of the public in a critical condition in hospital.

“My thoughts are with all the families affected by this shocking incident, and we will be working extremely hard to understand exactly what has happened.

“We are at the early stages of the investigation and need to determine the motives behind these attacks and will keep the public updated as soon as we are able to say more.”

02:42 PM

Injured man in critical condition

Police said one man injured is in hospital in a critical condition while two others are believed to have suffered minor injuries

02:41 PM

Police keeping ‘open mind’ over motive

Nottinghamshire Police have just released an update to say they are are keeping an ‘open mind’ over the motive of a city attack which has left three people dead.

But at this time believe there is no one else outstanding in connection with the incidents.

02:39 PM

Student thought he heard gunshot

A university student says he believes he heard a gunshot as officers surrounded a van in Bentinck Road.

Josh Fenner, 20, said he saw a police van moving slowly up the street with an officer running alongside it after he was woken up by shouting at 5.30am.

“I thought I’d just check it out and I see a policeman running up side-by-side to his van, and then there’s this white van just at the end of the road.

“I heard the policeman shout ‘get out the car’ and then what I thought I heard was a gunshot. Obviously, I was half asleep at the time, it was quite early.”

He said others in the street also told him they had heard what they thought was a shot. Asked how many shots he heard, Mr Fenner said: “I heard just one.”

02:28 PM

Murder suspect described as ‘black man with dreadlocks’

The suspect being questioned by police on suspicion of a triple murder in Nottingham is a 31-year-old local man, The Telegraph understands

Eyewitnesses have described the man as being black, with dreadlocks and a beard who was dressed in a hooded top, reports Martin Evans.

Police were alerted just after 4am on Tuesday to reports that two people had been stabbed to death in Ilkeston Road in the city. An eyewitness who spoke to the BBC described a man being on foot and attacking two people before walking away.

Read more here.

02:26 PM

Nottingham: What we know so far

Police have confirmed three people were killed and another three were injured in connected incidents in Nottingham on Tuesday morning.

A man was later arrested in connection with the incidents, which have seen a number of roads closed across the city.

Here is what we know about events so far:

  • Two people were found dead in Ilkeston Road shortly after 4am

  • A white van attempted to run over three people on Milton Street shortly afterwards

  • All three are currently recovering in hospital

  • A third person was then found dead on Magdala Road

  • One witness, Kane Brady, told GB News a man was pulled from a white van on Bentinck Road at around 5.30am

  • Police confirmed a 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.

  • Shortly before 1pm armed officers raid property on Ilkeston Road, a few hundred yards from where bodies were found

01:58 PM

Forensics tent erected on Magdala Road

Forensic tent erected on Magdala Road

Forensic tent erected on Magdala Road

At around 1pm on Tuesday police erected a large blue forensics tent on the road outside Magdala Tennis Club, covering a smaller grey tent under which the victim’s body had lain since early morning, Patrick Sawer reports.

Plain clothes officers, including detectives from Lincolnshire and Derbyshire joined colleagues from Nottinghamshire at the scene in trying to piece together what happened during the brief hours of carnage.

A couple who left for work early on Tuesday morning reported seeing police giving first aid to the bleeding victim, who was lying in Magdala Road

01:55 PM

Pictured: Armed police raid home in Ilkeston Road



Police raid property

Police raid property



Cordoned off road

Cordoned off road

01:38 PM

Watch: Nottingham attacker arrested by police

This footage shows the moment a man arrested after three people were found dead in Nottingham with three others injured by a van was held by police after apparently being pulled from his vehicle, Catherine Lough reports.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday. People living in Bentinck Road said they saw police drag a man out of a white van at about 5.30am.

Student Demi Ojolow said: “I just saw the police shouting at him to get out of the car and get on the floor.

“And they dragged him out of the car and he just fell on the floor. He was still pretty wrestling at the point. They dragged him away and that was about it.”

Read more here.

01:32 PM

Raid carried out yards away from where bodies found

The raid on the property was carried out just a few hundred yards away from where two bodies were found, Max Stephens reports.

Nisar Ahmed, the owner of the neighbouring hair salon, said a raid on the same property took place last summer.

Mr Ahmed said he did not notice anyone living there regularly in the past five years.

A For Sale sign was put up on the raided property around two to three months ago, neighbours said.

01:27 PM

Counter-terror police raid home

Around a dozen counter terrorism police dressed in tactical gear raided a home on Ilkeston Road at 1pm, Max Stephens reports.

Using a battering ram, the officers, wearing body armour and armed with assault rifles and sidearms broke down the door.

The raid featured officers wearing uniforms emblazoned with CTSFO which stands for Counter Terrorism Specialist Firearm Officers.

The raid lasted 10 minutes.

01:11 PM

‘Someone was screaming’

Frances added: “I just got off the bus with around 40 other people and we were walking along Market Square to catch our next bus, crossed over the road at Theatre Royal and got around 10 feet down the road when all of a sudden you heard a bang which sounded like a vehicle hitting a bollard.

“I turned around and then saw the two people on the floor, on the road. Someone was screaming, I think a gentleman ran over to help as well.

“Then it just went from there, the police were there straight away, then the ambulance arrived and they got the two people in the ambulance and got them sent off to whichever hospital.”

01:11 PM

Witness – I saw man and woman hit by van

A woman has told how she watched a van hit two pedestrians as she made her way to work in Nottingham city centre

The woman, only known as Frances, told Sky News that both victims were left with head injuries.

“There was a male and a female. The female, she could speak. She was in pain from the impact from hitting the ground. She had hit her head but was still able to speak.

“Then the gentleman as well took the full brunt of the van and he had head injuries but was still awake. He didn’t lose consciousness, he was still awake at that stage.”

12:58 PM

Armed police ‘enter property’

Armed police on Ilkeston Road

Armed police on Ilkeston Road

Armed officers, some wearing balaclavas, could be seen on Ilkeston Road, a few hundred yards above the main cordon.

Police appeared to enter a commercial property on the street, with two young women eventually put in the back of a marked car.

A number of unmarked police vehicles carrying armed officers eventually then left after the section of the road was cordoned off.

12:54 PM

Picture: Officers at scene of arrest

Bentinck Road

Bentinck Road

A police officer speaks to local residents on Bentinck Road in Nottingham as officers investigate the deaths of three people in the city.

The street is where the suspect was arrested at around 5.30am. Witnesses told how he was dragged from a white van before he was pinned down by officers.

12:46 PM

Magdala Road resident – ‘I thought incredible bang was a bomb’

A large section of Magdala Road remained sealed off on Tuesday at the junction with Lucknow Road and The Point, Patrick Sawer reports.

Bibi Gorbutt, whose apartment overlooks Magdala Road, close to the spot sealed off by police, told The Telegraph how she was woken by an “incredible” noise in the early hours of this morning.

“At about 5 or 5.30 I heard an incredible bang. I thought it was a bomb. It woke me up it was so loud,” she said, adding: “I was scared to go out, but I went to my balcony and looked out and I could hear lots of noise, like people running.

“I’ve lived here since 1968 and it’s always been a wonderfully quiet street and what happened has left me scared.

“When I looked out again at 7am the police had arrived and had sealed off the road.”

12:42 PM

Who are the National inter-agency liaison officers deployed in Nottingham?

National inter-agency liaison officers (NILOs)

National inter-agency liaison officers (NILOs)

Police deployed specially-trained “NILO” officers in burgundy uniforms to coordinate the emergency services’ response to the major incident in Nottingham, Charles Hymas reports.

The National inter-agency liaison officers (NILOs) are trained to ensure police, fire, ambulance and other services including military have all the necessary intelligence and support they need as well as knowing what each is doing.

They are deployed to four types of events which are terror attacks, major incidents including those involving chemical, biological or nuclear material, “complex or protracted police led incidents” such as a hunt for a killer, and “spontaneous and planned serious public order” such as riots.

Read more here.

12:23 PM

Pictures: White van suspect ‘was dragged from’

These pictures shows the white van the suspect was allegedly dragged from before he was arrested by police in Nottingham.

Officers arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder outside a grocery shop at around 5.30am on Bentinck Road, near the junction with Maples Street.

Viewed from the other side of the cordon, the van has clear damage to its bonnet and windscreen.

There are two dents on the bonnet, just above the radiator grille, and two sets of corresponding cracks radiating out from two points on the windscreen.

Residents gathered at the cordon said they were disturbed by shouting just before 5.30am but said this was not unusual as the street is home to a number of drug rehabilitation establishments.

White van - Darshna Soni

White van – Darshna Soni



11:48 AM

Stabbing was ‘repeated’

The witness continued: “I looked out of the window and saw a black guy dressed all in black with a hood and rucksack grappling with some people. It was a girl, and a man or boy she was with – they looked quite young.

“She was screaming ‘Help!’ I just wish I’d shouted something out of the window to unnerve the assailant.

“I saw him stab the lad first and then the woman. It was repeated stabbing – four or five times. The lad collapsed in the middle of the road.”

The man later said he was “in bits” after witnessing the attack.

11:47 AM

Witness – I heard screams then watched stabbing

An eyewitness has told the BBC he heard “blood-curdling screams” before he saw a young man and woman stabbed on Ilkeston Road at around 4am.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he watched the man being stabbed up to five times before the woman was also attacked.

He said: “Being a hot night, I had the window open and I just heard some awful, blood-curdling screams.

“It’s often quite busy with people coming back from town and you get the usual boyfriend-girlfriend arguments, so I thought it was something like that….

11:46 AM

Witness – Man arrested outside my house

Kane Brady, a student at the University of Nottingham, told GB News he saw a knife being taken from a white van after a man was arrested outside his house on Maples Street.

Mr Brady said: “We woke up to shouts of ‘armed police’ and what… sounded like some very loud noises, what sounded like gunshots – it was that loud.

“I looked out the bedroom window and saw Tasers. I saw a man being dragged out (of the van) and pinned to the floor.

“I saw him getting arrested, him trying to resist.

“I then later saw when they opened the van, I saw a large knife being pulled out and then straight away that’s when police closed off both roads, both Maples Street and Bentinck Road.”

11:22 AM

Sir Keir Starmer – My thoughts with people of Nottingham

11:19 AM

Witness – I saw van go ‘straight into’ pedestrians

A woman who works at a local B&Q store told of her horror as she saw a van driver mow down two passers by as he appeared to try to escape a police vehicle behind him, Patrick Sawer reports.

Lynn Haggitt told Channel 4 News: “It was half past five and I saw a white van pull up by the side of me. It was white. There was a police car behind it which came up slowly, no flashing lights.

“The man in the driver’s seat looked in his mirror and saw the police car behind it. The white van then backed up on the corner of the street and went into two people.”

She added: “The lady ended up on the kerb then he backed up the van and sped up Parliament Street with the police cars following him.”

Ms Haggitt said the van appeared to have gone “straight into” the two pedestrians.

“He didn’t bother to turn, he just went back, straight into them,” she claimed, adding: “The man got on his feet, with head wounds. Amazingly enough he got up and waited for the ambulance.

“The woman was sitting on the kerb. I was there 15 minutes and there was no ambulance. The police man started first aid.”

Mrs Haggitt described the van driver as having dreadlocks and a beard and wearing a hat. “You just don’t want to see that kind of thing,” she said,

Describing what she saw happen near Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, Mrs Haggitt added: “The woman went on the kerb, the man went up in the air, there was such a bang, I wish I never saw it, it’s really shaken me up. I went over, perhaps I shouldn’t have gone over but I wanted to see if I could help.”

11:14 AM

Pictures: Forensic investigators at crime scene

Forensic investigators

Forensic investigators



11:03 AM

Suella Braverman – I’ve spoken to Chief Constable

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she is “shocked and saddened” at the deaths in Nottingham and has spoken with the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police.

10:58 AM

Residents asked for CCTV

Nottingham residents have been asked for any CCTV as police investigate the deaths of three people in the city.

A resident on Ilkeston Road said a policewoman was “banging on my door” at around 5am asking for any CCTV footage.

The man, who asked to only be known as Wayne, said he was told the incident happened around 4.10am before being asked if he had witnessed anything.

“I didn’t see or hear anything, but I’m not surprised this sort of thing has happened around here,” he added.

10:53 AM

Video: Moment suspect is arrested

Dramatic video footage has emerged of officers apprehending a man by pinning him to the pavement next to a white van.

The video was captured on Tuesday morning after three people were found dead on two streets in Nottingham, while three others were injured during an attempted van attack.

It was shared by GB News and appears to have been captured above the scene of the arrest. The view is partially obscured by scaffolding poles and shows the van’s front door wide open.

At least three officers stand over the suspect as he is pinned to the ground.

10:48 AM

Labour MPs in Nottingham – ‘We will heal together’

Three Labour MPs in Nottingham, Nadia Whittome, Alex Norris and Lillian Greenwood, have declared the community will heal together following the deaths of three people in the city.

10:45 AM

Rishi Sunak – Police updating me on ‘shocking incident’

Mr Sunak said he is being kept updated as police investigate.

The Prime Minister tweeted: “I want to thank the police and emergency services for their ongoing response to the shocking incident in Nottingham this morning.

“I am being kept updated on developments. The police must be given the time to undertake their work.

“My thoughts are with those injured, and the family and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.”

10:43 AM

Rishi Sunak sends condolences to victims

Rishi Sunak has sent his condolences to the families of three victims found dead in Nottingham.

10:38 AM

Robert Jenrick – ‘All in Nottinghamshire share shock’

Nottinghamshire MP Robert Jenrick has said the entire county is in shock following the deaths of three people in Nottingham on Tuesday.

Mr Jenrick has represented Newark since 2014 and is the current Immigration Minister.

10:30 AM

Support line launched for Nottingham incident

Nottinghamshire Police have set up a dedicated support line for people in relation to the attack in Nottingham on Tuesday.

10:10 AM


10:09 AM

Picture: Moment suspect is arrested by police

A picture has emerged of the moment a suspect was apprehended by police.

The incident was captured on video and was shown on GB News on Tuesday.

Sus - GB News

Sus – GB News

09:58 AM

Pictures: Police on scene in Nottingham







09:42 AM

Chief constable – ‘horrific and tragic incident’

Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “This is a horrific and tragic incident which has claimed the lives of three people.

“We believe these three incidents are all linked and we have a man in custody.

“This investigation is at its early stages and a team of detectives is working to establish exactly what has happened.

“We ask the public to be patient while inquiries continue. At this time, a number of roads in the city will remain closed as this investigation progresses.”

09:41 AM

Three dead and three others injured by van

Nottinghamshire Police have just released the following statement:

“A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three people were killed in the city.

“Police were called to Ilkeston Road just after 4am where two people were found dead in the street.

“Officers were then called to another incident in Milton Street where a van had attempted to run over three people. They are currently being treated in hospital.

“A man has also been found dead in Magdala Road.

“Police have arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder and he remains in police custody.”

09:33 AM

Police update ‘imminent’

The Telegraph has been told an update on the police incident in Nottingham is “imminent”

09:28 AM

Police cars heard at 5am

Nottingham resident Glen Gretton said he was woken up at around 5am on Tuesday morning by the sounds of a series of police cars passing his home.

The 46-year-old delivery driver, who lives in a flat in Mansfield Road in Sherwood, told the PA news agency: “I heard a police car go past. It was driving extremely quickly, followed by another one, another one.

“They just kept coming so I knew something quite major… was happening somewhere around the city centre.”

09:14 AM

Bus services disrupted

Bus services across Nottingham are also facing huge disruption after the tram network was suspended on Tuesday morning.

09:10 AM

Video: Emergency services in Nottingham

09:09 AM

Victoria Centre remains open for ‘business as usual’

Nottingham’s main shopping precinct, the Victoria Centre, remains open to customers despite a major incident in the city centre, the Nottingham Post has reported.

A spokesman has confirmed it remains ‘business as usual’ but the York Street car park entrance has been shut closed. He added all pedestrian entrances were open.

09:04 AM

Pictured: Nottingham taped off







09:02 AM

List of roads closed

Roads shut include Ilkeston Road, Milton Street, Maples Street, and Woodborough Road, from the junction with Magdala Road into the city.

09:01 AM

Police urge public to avoid parts of city

Chief inspector Neil Humphries said: “Officers are currently on scene at multiple road closures due to an ongoing incident.

“Please avoid these areas as they are expected to remain closed for some time.”

09:00 AM

Nottingham roads cordoned off because of “ongoing serious incident”

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