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Charter school aims to help troubled students

Posted at 10:28 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 22:28:33-04

Class is in session at a first-of-its-kind charter school aiming to steer troubled middle and high school students back on track.

Inside the walls of the old IPS School 68, about 30 staff members of Marion Academy are working to teach and inspire close to 100 teens.

Among them is 16-year-old Alan Roach, who came to the academy after spending time in the juvenile detention center and Marion County Jail for bringing a gun to school last spring.

"We were going to Orlando and my mom was asking people for some money, and I didn't like seeing that," Roach said. "So, I stole a gun from my grandfather and tried to sell it at school."

The staff at Marion Academy hopes the lessons learned at the school will be life long, but the barriers they face are steep. Most students ride city buses to and from school, and nearly all face their own challenges outside of the building.

"The fear of having something to eat when they get home, the fear of having parents in jail, friends in jail," said Director Emmitt Carney.

The school is broadening its scope by bringing in Indiana State Police to work with students one-on-one, as well as Eskenazi Health for free checkups twice a month.