District not saying whether Grissom fight, assault will be referred to police

Published: Feb. 5, 2016 at 11:09 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2016 at 11:57 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - We asked Huntsville City Schools whether they're referring this fight captured on cell phone video at Grissom High School to the police.

The brawl is one of two incidents that popped up on campus Thursday. District leaders said the second involves a student who struck a teacher.

Three students were suspended and fourth expelled for the two incidents. Every Alabama Public School System has to report all incidents to the state annually.

That report includes whether it was referred to law enforcement.

"A set of kids are now involved in the disciplinary system," said Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Doctor Casey Wardynski on his reaction to video that captured multiple Grissom High School students brawling in the hallway.

"We take a very dim view of altercations in our schools. We don't want any fighting. We don't want any of that kind of behavior," said Wardynski. "When we see it, we take it very serious steps to curtail it and set an example that it won't be tolerated."

A district spokesperson said they're classifying what was captured on video as fighting when they report it to the state. The district will classify the unrelated attack on a teacher as an assault in their report.

What's unclear is whether either will be passed along to law enforcement which would also be noted on that annual report the district has to give to the state.

We checked that state report and the 2015 numbers show Grissom High School had 29 incidents of fighting and 5 for assault with none referred to
law enforcement.

And that seems to be a pattern. Not one reportable offense at Grissom has been taken to law enforcement since 2012. That's as far back as we were able to search. In fact, the only schools to report incidents that happened on campus to police were schools that are closed or closing.

J.O. Johnson and Butler make up all 23 of the incidents reported to police out of more than 2,300 incidents district wide last year.

A district spokesperson sent a message late Friday afternoon that talked about disciplinary action and when police get involved but didn't answer whether they're getting involved in either of these altercations.

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