SALEM School officials suspend boys in beating of two freshmen

The school district may build a bus garage where its fleet would be maintained.
SALEM -- City school officials are sending a clear message to pupils regarding violence in the schools: It won't be tolerated.
Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck made that clear at Monday's board of education meeting when he related that six high school students had received four- and five-day suspensions for a hazing episode that occurred earlier this month.
Brobeck said four of the six boys who were suspended beat two freshmen boys in a high-school restroom.
Two other upper classmen were part of the episode but didn't participate in the attack. They also were suspended.
The hazing was part of an initiation into a gang called the Dukes, which has existed at the high school for years, Brobeck said.
Charges possible: The boys who were attacked did not require immediate medical attention. Their parents are working with police, and there could be juvenile charges filed, Brobeck said.
"There's no tolerance for kids being singled out and hurt," he added. "We want all kids protected."
In other business, the school district is considering building a bus garage near the high school so that it can start handling maintenance of the vehicles.
Right now that work is contracted out. The school board authorized administration officials to seek an architect to assemble plans.
It's unclear right now how much a garage would cost. It would be paid for through the district's capital improvement fund.
Pay raise: The school board agreed to give a future school board a raise in January 2004, if an increase is approved by the Ohio Legislature. Schools Treasurer Ted Cougras explained that state legislators are considering implementing a raise.
The school board agreed to authorize a raise now because members in office when the Legislature approves an increase wouldn't be allowed to give themselves an in-term pay raise.
School board members make $80 per meeting now, although they may only be paid for a maximum of 14 meetings annually. On average, the board meets about 20 times a year.
The state Legislature hasn't determined how much it wants to raise board members' pay, but $125 per meeting has been discussed.
Board member salaries are paid from the district's general fund.

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