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Parents Frustrated After Violent Week Across Pittsburgh Public Schools

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Parents are frustrated following a wild week of violence across Pittsburgh Public Schools.

"It has now become a normal for these kids," parent Marquice Woodson said. "This is all they're used to. This is all they see."

On Friday, KDKA-TV confirmed two separate incidents are under investigation at Pittsburgh Allegheny 6-8 and Pittsburgh Sterrett 6-8. A district spokesperson said students will be disciplined but did not provide specifics about what happened.

Also on Friday, a 17-year-old student was beaten and rushed to the hospital following a fight at Brashear High School.

On Thursday, two staff members at Carrick High School were hurt while breaking up a fight between students. And on Wednesday, a student was tragically gunned down while sitting in a school van outside Oliver Citywide Academy.

"The school board is not providing additional personnel in the schools to help," said Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. "We need bodies in the schools, boots on the ground."

Esposito-Visgitis is calling on the school board to take action and hire mental health professionals to work with students and address the root cause of their anger. She also wants more school police officers to respond to the continued violence.

"I had one teacher tell me this week that he doesn't know how he could go to school without our school police," she said.

KDKA-TV's Royce Jones talked with City Councilman Ricky Burgess about if the city could intervene. He said there have been discussions about creating a city school board committee to share resources and information between the city council and the school board.

He looks forward to working with Sala Udin, the new school board president, to make it happen.

"What you need to do is to have sufficient services to these young people, sufficient after-school programming, sufficient counseling programs because many of these kids have trauma," Burgess said.

KDKA-TV's Royce Jones reached out to all nine school board members on Friday to discuss their plans about school safety. The four who responded referred KDKA-TV elsewhere. Interim Superintendant Wayne Walters was also not available.

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