Female Camden High School student hospitalized after being struck by male student on campus

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Published: May. 10, 2022 at 9:33 PM EDT
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CAMDEN, S.C. (WIS) - A 15-year-old female Camden High School student is recovering after she was struck by a 16-year-old male student on campus, leaving her unconscious.

The incident happened on Friday. The male student has been charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and is currently being held at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.

The victim spent several days in the hospital following the incident. According to her mother, she is back at home but still struggling.

She said that her daughter is dizzy and having a hard time eating and sleeping. Her mother also said that she suffered a brain bleed and skull fracture as a result of the incident.

WIS obtained a copy of the incident report, which states that the school resource officer responded to find the victim lying on the ground. She was then transported to the nurse’s office.

The 16-year-old male stated that this stemmed from a conversation between three people. He stated that the victim was attempting to get into an altercation with another girl and his girlfriend, according to the incident report.

The suspect claims that he thought the 15-year-old female was going to slap one of these people, and so he used his right hand to strike her. He said this was “not hard, just a tap.”

After reviewing video footage, Camden Police determined that the male suspect used “a directed half-fist strike to the left brachial area” of the victim, which caused her head to jerk violently.

“We began an investigation throughout the day until we were able to get some information on her medical conditions, which we felt elevated an assault to a level where we’d need to charge and detain this juvenile,” Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd said.

One parent claims that the 16-year-old male has bullied students in the past. According to Floyd, instances like this are rare in Camden schools.

“An assault to this degree is very rare for our schools,” he said. “Most of our assaults are slaps and minor things of that nature, not something that would put somebody in the hospital.”

When asked how he would respond to parents concerned about bullying and school safety, Floyd said that children in Camden schools are safe.

“We will always have instances that people will have disagreements and disputes and that they will resort to some other method of trying to settle them other than conversation,” he said. “And so that’s part of what having large groups of people together with different ideas and different opinions will result in from time to time. But overall, our schools are very safe.”

WIS reached out to the Kershaw County School District for a reaction to the incident, and also asked about any potential disciplinary actions.

Kershaw County Schools spokesperson Mary Anne Byrd sent a statement, which reads: “The incident at Camden High School on Friday was an isolated event, and administrators and staff responded immediately. Because the Camden Police Department is conducting an ongoing investigation, the Kershaw County School District is limited in what we can say but we are following our student discipline code in reference to this situation. The safety and well-being of our students and staff have always been and continue to be our highest priority; inappropriate behavior is not tolerated.”

The 16-year-old male has a hearing on Wednesday to determine whether or not he will remain at DJJ, with court proceedings expected at a later date.

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