When schools discipline students for taking guns to school, the districts must report it to the state. It happened almost 250 times in Ohio last year.
But parents who look on the state Board of Education’s website won’t see most of those reports.
That’s because a department rule designed to protect the privacy of students — including those who take guns to school — keeps parents in the dark about where those hundreds of incidents happened.
Whenever a district’s reportable incidents total fewer than 10 in a year, the department “masks” the data, blanking out the number. So a district that expelled nine students for shooting guns in a school would show up on the website as having no gun-related expulsions, with nothing to indicate that any information was redacted.
“Because of the confidentiality and not sharing any kind of student data, if it’s fewer than 10 students in any category, then it gets masked,” said John Charlton, spokesman for the state Department of Education.