Rural Indiana school suspends 5th-graders for alleged gang activity

The common age of fifth-graders is 10 or 11 years old, and the population of Bunker Hill, Ind., where four fifth-graders were suspended for alleged gang activity, is less than 1,000, according to the 2010 census.
By Fred Lambert Contact the Author   |  May 5, 2015 at 7:12 PM
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BUNKER HILL , Ind., May 5 (UPI) -- A school in a rural Indiana town suspended four fifth-graders it accused of taking part in gang activity, according to a report.

The students attended Maconaquah Elementary School in Bunker Hill, a town in the central part of the state that had a recorded population of 888 in the 2010 census.

"Part of the student fight was about somebody being in a gang," Doug Arnold, superintendent of Maconaquah School Corp., told WXIN. "What we saw was, there were a few students who said, 'This is our gang. This is our symbol.' Another one said, 'I want to be a part of that gang.' The other one said, 'No.' "

Administrators investigated and found several students were involved, Arnold said, adding that the gang even had a symbol.

"My understanding is one of the students scratched themselves with this symbol and might have used a small blade they took from a pencil sharpener," he said.

The school board is still investigating the allegations and intends to expel the four students based on a board policy prohibiting gang-related activity.

The average age of students in fifth grade is 10 or 11.

"Fifth-graders, you don't expect to see this," Arnold said. "We know there are some kids having a hard time fitting in. One way to do that is to say, you know, 'You two or three guys, we are all together. This is one group. You other kids aren't a part of it.' "

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