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KPS offers answers to crime reporting statistics
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Thursday night, we finally got some answers from the Kalamazoo Public School district about why school leaders didn't properly report potential criminal incidents in their schools to the state.
Newschannel 3 reported over the past two weeks that dozens of assaults and other incidents were under-reported.
We tried interviewing leaders in the district on several different occasions to get answers, but our requests for interviews were denied.
Finally, after a school board meeting with parents, we have the other side of the story.
In Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice's first interview since our I-Team investigation aired over the last two weeks, district leaders say they've done nothing wrong.
They offered a full explanation of the numbers.
The district's attorney advised Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice that the district only has to report a crime if there is ultimately a conviction.
Even though the definition provided to every school district for a mandatory reporting of physical assault is very clear, attorney Marshall Grate seems to think the law is on his side, and that the definition can be ignored.
"We report to the areas that are most important--to the police and to CPS," Dr. Rice said. "There is a difference of opinion; our attorney believes that a report to the state is a function of the state law; you believe it is a function of this piece of paper."
"We're prepared to seek clarification associated with that, but the reality is we're guided by state law," he concluded.
Many school districts in the state don't have the same philosophy that KPS seems to, and they do the work.
The school district's attorney told Newschannel 3 that he's going to seek further clarification on the issue, and ask lawmakers to revisit the law.
For our part, we promise to fully investigate it as well.