PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Students at Oliver Citywide Academy will be relocated to four satellite locations across Pittsburgh Public Schools after two shooting deaths and a teacher being assaulted by a student.
Oliver was a full-time special education center serving kids in grades 3-12 and has had several violent incidents including two fatal shootings outside the North Side School.
The first fatal shooting was back in January 2022 when police said two suspects walked up to a school van at dismissal and opened fire,.
This year in May, police said a 15-year-old studentnear the front steps of the academy.
“The incidents that happened there just took us all by — shocked us all, and I think it’s good to move on,” Nina Esposito-Visgitis, the Pittsburgh Federation Teachers President said.
Pittsburgh Public said their plan will move a max of 40 students to the Greenway Building, 12 students to the Perry facility, 12 to Milliones and 18 to the King facility. The teacher’s union said they are in favor of the move.
“Lots of our teachers wanted the building closed too. We are totally in support of it. We think it’s a good idea,” Esposito-Visgitis said.
After the tragedies inside the building, staff and students had called on the school system to move them out of the building. Some had feelings of PTSD because of what they had witnessed.
“It was hard because they are such an excellent professional group, but they’re also a very caring group,” Esposito-Visigitis said at the union’s South Side headquarters.
PPS said these students will be in the same buildings with other schools, they will have their own administration, teachers and support staff. They will also have separate teaching and learning facilities. The hope is this will reduce violence with students.
“You need the proper supports. You have to make sure the new settings are appropriate, which I think the teachers are giving input into now,” Esposito-Visigitis said.
Pittsburgh Public plans to talk more about this when they have a press conference about the back-to-school issues for students.