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Will Assailant Return To School?

| October 08, 2010, 12:32 PM | 12 Comments

Will the assailants who sent a teen to shock trauma after a beating be allowed to return to school in ten days? Based on a tip and silence from the school, it seems like it might be a possibility.

Earlier today, we received a tip that at least one of the students responsible for the attack that sent a South River High School sophomore to Shock-Trauma in a helicopter may indeed be returning to school after serving a ten day suspension–likely before the victim is released from the Intensive Care Unit at Shock Trauma.

According to the Student Code of Conduct, which every student and parent is required to sign at the beginning of each year, an “attack” is defined:

The Code of Student Conduct defines attack as any unprovoked aggressive action toward another person. There are four categories of attacks:
Category I: Physical attack causing serious physical injury.
Category II: A physical attack causing minor physical injury.
Category III: A physical attack without injury.
Category IV: (threats) Intentionally frightening another person with the threat of immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm.

It further defines a “fight”:

The Code of Student Conduct defines fighting as “an incident involving two or more students with physical contact, such as hitting, kicking punching. Verbal fighting is further defined as “a verbal confrontation with no physical contact.”

The consequences are also clearly spelled out. A physical attack causing severe physical injury is considered a Category 1 Offense punishable by a Level 6 punishment—expulsion.

Anne Arundel County Schools Code Of Conduct

The tip received was deemed to be credible, so we attempted to contact the school to find out if this was indeed true and if so, why such a blatant exception to the Code of Conduct was being made. We called Principal William T. Myers on three separate occasions and the main phone went unanswered. Although he likely would have referred us to the school district spokesman, we gave it a try. When we were unsuccessful, we contacted Anne Arundel County Public School’s spokesman, Bob Mosier. Citing privacy concerns he declined to comment specifically on the individual case. However, Mosier did say that it was up to the individual school to define the incident and to discipline as appropriate.

This begs the question is Principal Myers is playing with words and definitions again? The wording in the initial report certainly downplayed the severity of the beating by using words like “medical assistance”, “incident”, and “altercation.” Is this a loophole in the policy that will allow individual schools to classify one infraction as another to preserve a reputation or look good on a report?

Clearly when a student is flown in a helicopter from the school as a result of the beating he received while at school, it merits more than a slap on the wrist and a ten day suspension.

To put this in perspective, the students responsible for the attack could also have received a ten day suspension for any of the following violations:

  • Cheating or Plagiarism
  • Possession or Consumption of drugs or alcohol (although if they were distributing it woudl be an expulsion)
  • Using an ethnic, racial or other biases slur more than once
  • Bullying or Cyberbullying
  • Inappropriate language, sexual harassment, or disrespect to others
  • Arson, use of matches/lighters, and destruction of property
  • Insubordination
  • Leaving school grounds without permission
  • Smoking at school 3 or more times
  • Possession of weapons

With loop holes like this, how can parents and students even have a reasonable assurance of safety.

Since the School is not commenting, the only way to know for sure is if the student indeed returns in ten days. But in the meantime, parents who are upset about this need to make their voices heard. Call the school (if they answer the phone) or send an email to the Superintendent or the School Board.  When it comes to attacks of this magnitude, there needs to be a zero tolerance policy.

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About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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Comments (12)

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  1. kh says:

    I wonder what the parents of the child in ICU at Shock Trauma have to say about a 10-day suspension

  2. Alison says:

    Great reporting! Way to go holding the school administrators accountable. Thanks for explaining the rules.

  3. Jocelyn says:

    This is INSANE! A ten day suspension for putting a child in Shock Trauma?? I’d be hollering for the head of the school and the superintendent if my kid was at that school. Way to make sure the kids feel safe. Wow.

  4. Ann says:

    This is unreal… my son was suspended for ten days during exams which resulted in a three week suspension for starting a fight with another student after being bullied for eighteen months by that student. They should be expelled and be charged as adults, at least the senior should. Unbelievable.

  5. tracy olsen says:

    encourage all your friends and neighbors who have children in the anne arundel county schools to take action. call your schools, congressman and elected officials, and school board members these two students should be expelled. Jam their phone lines, send e-mails, organize protests at the school, enough is enough!

  6. Name (required) says:

    The victim has been released from ICU.
    He is home, family and close friends have been visiting.
    He is recovering from his injuries.
    The sight in his left eye is improving – but we are unsure weather he will ever be able to see as good as he could before he was attacked.
    Please keep him in your prayers, and keep these kids out of our school!!!

  7. Michael Willis says:

    Glad to here that the kid is out of the hospital. I’d like somebody to explain to me the logic of allowing such an animal as the attacker back into the same school that the victim will be returning to.

    Doesn’t AACPS simply boggle the mind? Do not let this go, folks. They only do what public outrage forces them to do.

    This site is performing a very needed public service that the papers sometimes are not up to.

  8. H says:

    This is an outrage! If true, this puts every student at South River at grave risk.

    In addition to the contacts listed, we also need to voice our concerns to Lorna Leone Regional Assistant Superintendent at 410 626-9747. Principal Myers reports directly to her.

  9. Alexander says:

    Let us not lose perspective on this situation. It is very clear that this young teen was assaulted by two older, extremely larger, athletically developed punks in an unprovoked assault.

    Think about this folks, how severely does a child need to be injured in order for the MSP to use a helicopter for transport to the Shock Trauma unit in Baltimore?. I will hold for a second for that to sink in.
    This innocent young teen may lose his eyesight for life. Please close one of your eyes for a couple of seconds and look around… how would you like to go through the rest of your life like that?

    These two examples infer the magnitude which the young teen has initially endured, never mind the time spent in a coma and in the ICU. Kind readers, this does not even begin to cover the physical pain of being viciously kicked, punched, elbowed and physically and mentally terrorized.

    There is no doubt that this poor young teen will need a lot of care and prayer to get better.

    Eye on Annapolis has and is providing a tremendous service to not only its’ local (us, the people with children in the AACPS) but to the nation as well.

    I am surprised that the national wires have not picked up on this horrific story. Mr. Mosier and his cronies must have picked up some very valuable experience from theJavel George / Christopher Jones sorry situation.

    High School is a tenuous time for any and all adolescents. It was for me, I am sure it was for you. It was a time when we learned and acquired the skills to enter adulthood. Where we went from there was our choice. My teachers in High School not only taught me subject matter but rules about behavior and social skills. My coaches taught me about self discipline and a code of conduct. Which brings me back to the point that these two punks have exhibited no self discipline, no respect for the rights of others, and certainly no sense of right and wrong.

    My daughter told me these two are football players. If I ever hit another kid while my teammates were holding him down, my coach would have killed me. Right now as I am keyboarding this, I actually had to stop because I flashbacked to Coach K, and what he would have done to me. I was a wrestler, a big guy. I never pushed any frosh or sophomores around even when I made Varsity in my sophomore year. The code of conduct: my teammates would never condone participation in a gang assault like this.

    What about the young lady who was hurt? Will a 10 day suspension for her be served concurrently as to allow an earlier return to school?

    If my daughter was at SR I would be in Mr. Myers face. Answer the phone, open the door, I pay your salary. What part of en locus parenti doesn’t the AACPS understand? No apologies for my response…Must I have to worry about the safety of my girl while in school, should my daughter have to fear assault or even rape while she is in class every day?

    I don’t think so.

    The AACPS, in my opinion, is trying to squash this story as it exemplifies that they have lost administrative control of their schools. Myers’ letter, the Robo-calls, and allowing one of the brutal beasts back into school to continue the facade of all is back to normal is administrative misconduct.

    This is so blatant, that even Mosier, et.al. ,are attempting to distance themselves by stating that it is the school’s individual choice on how to handle the situation. This is an attempt to fool us, the parents, that everything is great. That education and not socialization is our only mission; “c’mon let’s take another standardized test to ensure the parents and students that we are a phenomenal county”.

    To the teachers, I have great respect and admiration. I know for a fact that amongst themselves and out of ear shot they look at each other and say “altercation?” then sigh in their own personal disgust.

    As parents, for the sake of our children, we need to follow through with the administration at all levels. If Myers will answer the telephone and if he does not, call Lorna Leone , she is the Assistant Superintendant at 410.676.9747 / 9748) Parents and students should not let this brutal assault with intent to cause great grievous harm be swept underneath the rug.

    Teachers and coaches need our support. Parental involvement in the school system is needed. Necessary to not only ensure that our children are receiving a quality education but as an example for our children to see us doing something positive.

    Role model for your kids, because the overwhelmed coaches and teachers sometimes see our kids more often than we do (try as we may to stay involved in their lives). Moreover, if administrators know we are amongst them, it might be causation for honest administrative action. This is progressive education not merely spraying with Febreeze to make it smell nice.

    Oh by the way – “altercation” – my ass.”

    Pray for the health and recovery of that young teen. Does your child have an iPod?

  10. Cathline harbour says:

    Lorna leone is useless. I attended the meetings in Crofton after Chris Jones was MURDERED and she has no clue. She was completely overwhelmed by the questions from the community and clearly is not qualified to speak on behalf of Maxwell. She along with all of maxwells’s croanies need to go and go very far away!

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