Marion police have answered several calls to Oasis, Marion County’s cooperative special education facility the past few months. They say the calls are routine when students act out in class.
“They call us when someone acts up,” chief Tyler Mermis said. “We make sure everyone is safe.”
He said recent calls are a combination of a few students and behavior calls. Sometimes when a student gets violent, they are taken to juvenile intake, Mermis said.
“Most of the time they’re just acting disorderly, but if it’s criminal behavior, like battery against a teacher, then they are arrested and processed, but most of the time we are able to talk to them and calm them down,” Mermis said.
David Sheppard, director of Oasis, said Marion police work constantly with the program to maintain safety for everyone at the cooperative. Because Oasis does not have a resource officer, the police act as an authority figure to calm students down.
“I think it’s good sometimes for them to see people around with legal authority,” Sheppard said.
He and other Oasis leaders are discussing possibly employing a full-time resource officer.