Midlands teen faces expulsion, criminal charges after viral video shows classroom assault

Published: Dec. 6, 2018 at 10:42 AM EST
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ST. MATTHEWS, SC (WIS) - A Midlands teenager has been suspended from school and is facing criminal charges after a viral video shows her standing on a teacher’s desk and taunting him.

According to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, the 17-year-old female student at Calhoun County High School has been charged with public disorderly conduct and assault and battery of the third degree. While the sheriff’s office said the teen will be charged as an adult, WIS is choosing not to identify the teen by name because the charges are misdemeanors and the charges are not felonies.

The video, sent in by a viewer, shows the student standing on the teacher’s desk and striking him on the head. The student is also seen kicking at the teacher, who walks away from the student. After about twenty seconds, the student steps down off of the desk and sits in the teacher’s chair. Shortly thereafter, the video ends.

Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said his department supplies three school resource officers to the district’s three schools. The video does not show the Calhoun County High School resource officer, which the sheriff said is because he was not notified of the incident by administrators.

“I saw the video for the first time Tuesday morning and this happened Monday afternoon,” Sheriff Summers said. “I immediately called my school resource officer and said what is going on with this video and he said he had just been made aware as well and was working on it.”

Summers does not know why the district did not notify the school resource officer while the incident was ongoing. The district did not respond to a request for comment.

“Our school resource officers are not hall monitors or parking lot attendants and they’re not disciplinaries,” Summers said. “But if an incident becomes criminal, the school resource officer should be notified and they will do their job.”

The district said the student has been suspended and is being recommended for expulsion. The teacher in the video has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. The district did not respond to inquiries about why the teacher was placed on leave and if it is paid administrative leave.

“I think the teacher acted really good,” Summers said. “To get up and walk away, I think was admirable. He could have easily lost his temper and made some bad judgments, but I think he did fine.”

The 17-year-old student was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and booked into jail. Summers said, as of Wednesday, she has been bonded out. Summers said the role of his school resource officers is to keep students safe, maintain law and order, and serve as positive role models for students. Discipline, according to Summers, is left up to the district’s discretion but ultimately begins at home.

“When I first saw the video, what I saw as an older gentleman was the level of disrespect shown to that teacher was heartbreaking and very disturbing.”

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