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Meeting Held To Discuss Youth Offenders Attending Jim Thorpe Area Schools

JIM THORPE — Hundreds of concerned parents and students came out for a school board meeting in Jim Thorpe Monday night.

They’re concerned that the school district could be getting an influx of students from a nearby youth detention center when school resumes this fall.

Armed with concerns, fears, and outrage parents and students filed into Jim Thorpe Area High School, demanding answers.

“If these children end up in our school and say there`s 50 or 60 of them, how about the 90 or 100 kids that are going to get pulled out and home schooled?” asked one parent.

A special board meeting was held to address those questions as the district is facing a potential influx of students from Camp Adams, a nearby youth detention center.

“I want to make sure that I`m safe my senior year and I don`t have these worries because I want to make sure my senior year is what I want it to be. I don`t want to be scared,” said junior Erin Kelly.

Camp Adams says it can no longer afford an on-site school at the center and roughly 47 non-violent and low-risk young adults will need schooling next fall.

The superintendent told the crowd state law says the district has to educate those youth offenders.

“Non-resident children who are in court placements within a school district must be permitted to attend the district schools,” said Dr. Barbara Conway.

“I have a huge concern about safety, about the role models my kids will be seeing,” said parent Carol Montemuro.

However Dr. Conway says some exceptions would stop a youth offender from attending a public school.

One, a court-order, two, the student requires an alternate educational location.

Or three, a weapons violation that led to the student being expelled from their current school.

Still those stipulations did little to ease worries.

“Camp Adams has been educating their students since they`ve been here and that needs to continue and we need to make sure our kids are secure,” said parent Joe Yescavage.

The superintendent says the district is still negotiating with Youth Services Agency, which oversees Camp Adams, looking for other options for educating those juveniles.

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