Grand Island Public Schools said it supports the actions of a school resource officer who intervened when a suspected disruptive student attempted to flee Grand Island High on Monday. Part of the incident was recorded, with videos posted on social media.
In a statement released early Thursday afternoon, the district said “a student engaged in disruptive behavior in a hallway during a transition period.” The parent of a GISH student told The Independent that his daughter was assaulted by the offending student.
“As the student’s behavior escalated, the (offender) student attempted to flee the area,” the district said in the statement and in subsequent correspondence with The Independent, noting that the resource officer Tyler Noel of the Grand Island Police Department responded “as part of standard security procedure and to deal with any suspected violations of the law.”
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The parent said his daughter was the victim of the “disruptive behavior”, alleging the offending student hit his daughter repeatedly. Video recordings of the incident show a teenage girl wearing a red hoodie repeatedly punching another teenage girl. A second video shows Noel taking the offending student to the ground as he submits her.
The Independent does not identify the parent in an effort to conceal the daughter’s identity.
The parent said their daughter was treated at an area clinic for injuries and has since returned to school. The parent said he was disappointed with how long it took for someone to intervene during the altercation.
The district credited Noel with ensuring the situation was handled “while maintaining the safety of all students and staff. No classes or activities were disrupted.” In follow-up communication, GIPS communications director Mitchell Rousch said the district has protocols for “our SRO’s standard responses when disruptive behavior escalates.”
“We want to do everything we can to defuse and maintain security,” he said.
“We want to assure you that the role of the GIPD to assist us, through their SROs, in keeping students safe is part of our standard protocols when behavior escalates to some degree. We believe that the measures taken by the officer are appropriate to the situation and necessary to uphold a safe community and learning environment for students. Please know that we remain committed to ensuring the safety of our students and staff in all GIPS buildings. “, the district said in the initial statement.
Rousch noted that the statement was released to contextualize the officer’s actions as the video spread online.
“The District wishes to clarify that the original statement was shared in response to the altercation which was captured on video and wanted to clarify the context in which the SRO operated under standard security protocol to ensure the safety of our students and our staff,” he said. “In regards to the disruptive behavior that took place, all families involved have been contacted. In order to maintain student confidentiality and their rights, we cannot go into details at this time.”
In a statement, GIPS Superintendent Tawana Grover said, “The School District has invested to make ORS available and we believe the response in this case has been timely and appropriate to allow the situation to unfold. defuse.”
Potential criminal charges related to the incident are pending.