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Attention AACPS: Altercation Vs Assault

| October 07, 2010, 10:29 AM | 0 Comments

Yesterday, a sophomore at South River High School was beaten so badly that he was flown to Shock-Trauma in Baltimore for his injuries. This beating took place during school hours during a change in classes. Due to the late hour, the school was unable to send a note home with parents, but posted a memo on the school’s website (note, it is on the school’s page, not the main page of the school district).

Violence in schools is a problem and something needs to be done. Parents need to be involved in their childrens’ lives and not assume that someone else will be responsible for raising them. The attack yesterday, was completely preventable.  And yes, it was an attack.

The school has downplayed this incident significantly by using terms like”incident,” “altercation,” and “required medical assistance”. Maybe if the schools took a less politically correct approach, it might get the attention of some parents. Honestly, if you read a note about an “altercation” at school, as a parent do you pay much attention? How about one that said “two students were arrested for beating another student in the school to the point where his injuries were so sever that he was flown from the school to a specialized shock-trauma center which was equipped to treat the severity of his injuries.”  Do I have your attention now?

Here is the letter from the school’s principal:

October 6, 2010

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing to let you know about an incident that happened today at our school. While I regret that the timing of this incident allowed this letter to only be posted online and not to be distributed to students, I wanted to convey the information to you as quickly as possible.

At about 12:40 p.m., three students became involved in a physical altercation in the mathematics hallway during change of classes prior to fourth period. Because this occurred during a class change, a large number of students witnessed the incident. One of the involved students required medical assistance and was transported to the hospital.

Teachers near the scene of the fight immediately attempted to break it up, and our School Resource Officer also responded. The altercation was broken up fairly quickly, and to my knowledge at this point, no other students were involved. An additional officer was called to our school to assist in the investigation.

Two students have been charged by police, and our investigation is continuing. Appropriate actions will be taken with regard to those involved after the conclusion of the investigation.
I want to commend the other students in the hallway for cooperating with school staff as they worked to quell the situation. I encourage you to talk with your students about this incident, and about the steps they should follow in such circumstances.

The safety and security of our students and staff is of the utmost importance to all of us at South River High School. Thank you for everything you do for your children and for our school. If you have questions or concerns, please call the school at 410-956-5600.

William T. Myers


People have altercations every day without the need of a trip to the hospital for critical injuries.

This is an altercation:

This is an assault:

See the difference?

Parents and school administrators need to work together to solve this problem. There are violent fights almost every day in our county school and no one wants to address the issue head on. Apparently the “No Bullying” signs are not working.

Parents, wake up and make sure you are involved with your kids and know what they are up to. Be a parent! Let them know the consequences and enforce them!  Parents, are you concerned about this trend? Voice them! There is a number in the letter–call and let your voice be known.  Attend a School Board meeting and let the Board know your feelings. Take a stand!

Administrators, it is time to stop pussyfooting around this issue. It started with the elimination of the letter “F” in the grading system and “failure” is no longer an option. All of a sudden assaults, muggings, and beatings have been politically changed to “altercations”?  Call a spade a spade and be honest with the parents and guardians of the students under your charge.

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