It's not often you hear about gangs in elementary schools, but it could be a problem for fifth graders at Wilson Elementary School in Janesville.
"In the last two months it's gotten to a situation where it's become more difficult," said interim Janesville Superintendent Karen Schulte. "For example, we had 19 police calls in a two month period of time." Schulte said the principal at Wilson attempted to handle the problems without asking for additional staffing but it seems like the best option. "I believe it got to the point where she really did need to come to us and ask for some help."
Interim Superintendent Karen Schulte says the police department is lending support to the school and there is a grant position to help at the end of the school day. Tuesday the school board unanimously approved a third fifth grade teacher at a cost of about six thousand dollars for the remainder of the school year. The position is funded through "title one" funds and taxpayer dollars.
School Board Commissioner Tim Cullen recommended approval of the the additional fifth grade teacher. "The issues that they're dealing with there are significantly different than at any other elementary school," said Cullen. "There's gang issues," at Wilson. Principal Becky Bicha says most of the calls were for disorderly conduct but the school has had problems with graffiti.