Teens involved in 5 of 26 shootings in Chattanooga this summer
When school starts in two weeks teachers and administrators will have the tough task of addressing why some students won't be returning.
"I'm confident that the educator will use that as a teachable moment with other kids, so and so is missing and they won't be back and here's why," said Joe Smith.
Five of Chattanooga's 26 shootings this summer have involved juvenile victims or suspects.
A 14-year-old boy was arrested for shooting two 13-year-olds outside the Riverbend Festival on June 1.
A 9-year-old boy survived a shooting just three days later.
A 15-year-old girl was the victim of a shooting on East 35th Street on June 26.
On July 26, a 14 and 15-year-old were charged in a shooting that claimed the life of a 16-year-old and injured a 19-year-old.
On July 19, a 16-year-old was shot on 6th Avenue.
Hamilton County school board member Joe Smith has been mentoring teens in Chattanooga for years. He said during the summer teenagers have less structured time.
"When a child is at home and there is no parental supervision after school that's when they tend to get in trouble," Smith said.
Smith said it's up to adults to set an example.
"Kids don't hear what we say, they see what we do and then their life begins to change with that consistency and that safety," said Smith.
He said school provides consistency.
"It provides structure and accountability, and that's why I think after school programs are so important," said Smith.
Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw said teen crime is up, and he's seeing more incidents involving teens and guns.
"Guns are available. Kids come in and tell me they can get a gun in 10 minutes, if they can get $200," said Judge Philyaw.
A Hamilton County Department of Education spokesperson said that if a student is charged with a felony, the student can't return to school until the student goes through the district's appeals hearing process to be reinstated.