xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Howard County school officials call video of staff punching student ‘upsetting’

Howard County’s school superintendent called an incident captured on video Thursday showing staff restraining and hitting a student in the Howard High School cafeteria “upsetting” and said police and school officials are investigating.

The video shows three adults, an administrator dressed in a suit, and two others in uniforms, holding down a student on the floor of the cafeteria. One of those in uniform punches the student in the head twice and holds on to his hair while the other adult appears to hold the student’s arms down. A third person in uniform, with the words “police” lettered on their back, is holding the student’s feet. The incident occurred as students were sitting a few feet away eating lunch.

Advertisement

The uniformed adults and the administrator were intervening after a student had assaulted several others in the cafeteria, according to Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn. The school resource officer, who is a county police officer assigned to the high school, was holding down the student’s feet and was not involved in hitting the student, Llewellyn said.

“Preliminarily, we do not see any physical actions in the video, or had any witness reports, that indicate the SRO violated policy by using inappropriate force,” Llewellyn said.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“The video will be part of the ongoing police investigation,” she said. “A determination about possible charges is still pending for both the involved student and the HCPSS security guard. There were no weapons involved in the incident and no one was injured.”

Howard County Schools Superintendent Michael J. Martirano issued a statement saying administrators are “working alongside staff and Howard County Police to better understand all of the circumstances. Videos, rumors, and conversations have been occurring throughout our community and many people are understandably upset.”

He asked for the cooperation of students, families and staff as the school system investigates and responds to the fight.

“I want to assure all of our families and stakeholders that our student support staff are providing the necessary supports to the students involved as well as students who witnessed the incident,” Martirano said.

Advertisement

In a statement Friday, the superintendent said the school resource officer and other staff involved in the incident would not be assigned to a school while the investigation is ongoing.

Howard High School families were sent an email Thursday saying that rumors that a weapon was involved are false.

“The lockdown was not implemented as a result of a known or rumored weapon,” the statement said.

The school system provided additional security during dismissal at the Ellicott City high school.

“Please know that we take all reports and threats seriously and will continue to work cooperatively with public safety and other agencies to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” the statement said.

The incident was one of three in central Maryland schools Thursday that gained attention.

After an early morning fight between two girls in a Franklin High School locker room in Baltimore County, one of the girls was flown to a local hospital and another was taken into custody and charged with first-degree assault.

The police department said a victim told a school resource officer that she’d been struck in the head. The fight did not involve weapons. Baltimore County police said Friday the girl who was taken to the hospital suffered non-life threatening injuries.

In Frederick County’s Linganore High School, a student threatened another student with a knife inside a classroom Thursday morning. The student reported the threat to the school resource officer and school administrators. No students were injured, and a 19-year-old student was taken to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center and charged with first and second degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon on school property.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement