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Student records bathroom fight at Discovery Middle School

St. Joseph County Police were called to the middle school Monday afternoon because of a fight.

Reports say a teacher heard loud noises coming from one of the restrooms around 2 p.m. Monday and went inside to see what was going on, according to police.

When the teacher entered the restroom, the fight broke up, reports said.

The students involved were taken to the office.

Police said a 14-year-old student hit another 14-year-old student in the restroom while a third student recorded it on video.

The principal told police one of the students spit on the other right before spring break, which may have prompted the fight, reports said.

The principal of Discovery Middle School sent a letter to parents about the incident.

FROM THE OFFICE OF MRS. HARPER

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Dear Discovery Parent/Guardian,

This letter is to inform you of a student altercation that took place late yesterday afternoon (Monday, April 8) in the boys restroom. The fight was captured on video. We are aware that the cell phone video of this altercation has been shared and many of our students and families have seen it. I wanted to take some time this morning to clear up some rumors and misunderstandings.

This incident happened during a passing period. This incident involved three general education students, despite what has been discussed and questioned on social media. Teachers on hall duty heard the disruption in the bathroom, and while it is not seen on the video, the teachers did intervene quickly. All the boys involved were stopped as they exited the bathroom and our investigation into the incident began immediately, including contacting the parents of those involved. Following the P-H-M Student Handbook disciplinary guidelines, we have responded with appropriate disciplinary action for all those involved and we reserve the right to issue more consequences as our investigation continues. Please respect and understand that under FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) we can not disclose or discuss the details of these students’ disciplinary measures with those not involved in the incident.

I know many of our families and students have seen the video and have since learned that it has also been shared with local news media. It is disturbing in nature on many levels. This incident serves as a stark reminder to please reinforce with your your children the importance of reporting any and all unsafe behavior or situation immediately to an adult, especially when something is actively taking place. This is something we discuss frequently in school … see something, say something!

The safety of your child and all our students is a top priority for Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation. We take these matters very seriously, responding immediately with the appropriate action. P-H-M also utilizes the Safe School Helpline® as a confidential way to report anything that threatens the safety of our schools. It is Available 24/7 via phone, text, online or download the new app:

Safe School Helpline®
Call: 1-800-418-6423, ext. 359
Text: TIPS to 66746
Online: SafeSchoolHelpline.com
Download the new app: www.phmschools.org/safe-school-helpline

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (574) 674-6010 or sharper@phm.k12.in.us.

Respectfully yours,
Sheryll Harper, Principal
Discovery Middle School

Initial police reports said two students were suspended.

On Thursday, the district informed parents that suspension is generally just the first step in the disciplinary process.

Penn Harris Madison said the victim of the fight was not one of the students suspended. 


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31 Comments

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Rob 8 days ago
We all want to know if the kid that got assaulted is ok? I would give that kid a hug and tell him that he's not alone!
Rob 9 days ago
It's obvious from the video the teachers had no clue the fight even happened! Getting sick of schools covering their lies up!
Note that the two kids were 'suspended' and not 'expelled' as they should be cause this was not a fight. It was an assault! And I hope the two scumbags that attacked this child and their families get what's coming!
Rob Rob 8 days ago
FYI the raw vid of this assault is out there. I've seen it and it is highly disturbing.
Kierra 9 days ago
Teachers and staff need to have people standing outside of the bathrooms because obviously people can't go to the bathroom withought getting fought. Disovery is not supossed to be a bad school, and ion think it feels safe here anymore. They need to stop being lazy and watch the kids in this school before someone gets hurt again and ends up in a hospital again god, and its funny how they're lying abt everything lol but really on the video there was no evidence that they helped the kid bc dat isn't true the teachers didn't even notice untill he got to his locker so...
Chase 9 days ago
the boy that was beaten up has a lisp due to disabilities, which cause his to "spit"on the other student. The other student (aware of the disabilities) bullied and assaulted the other young man. More needs to be done about this altercation.
Alexis 10 days ago
I was there and that's not what happened. The teachers didn't stop the fight or even go into the bathroom
(comment was deleted)
Jeremy 10 days ago
I also would question zero tolerance laws/rules in the student handbook for this behavior, also the punishment given to the student. I also heard rumor I have not verified yet, that several PHM schools held assemblies discussing the use of social media, particularly relating to filming inside schools. Not bullying..........
Jeremy 10 days ago
If you watch the Facebook video it shows the student being attacked walk OUT of the door after his attacker had let him go. Not a single adult was present or stopped it. For that matter none of the other 5 or so students in the bathroom stepped in or even said stop. It’s a shame that this is not more disturbing to the witnesses in the room. They go on about their business like it’s normal. Makes you wonder if it is......
kaylynn 10 days ago
this school rly sucks i feel bad going here, our princibles and staff need to learn how to do there job right. Discovery is not supposed to be a bad school,ion even feels safe here, screw this. MR.KAUGHMEN DO UR JOB RIGHT.
teriana 10 days ago
its funny how i go to discovery and they're lying abt everything i was right outside the bathroom and the boy tht got beat up ive known since kindergarten he has mental issues and he has a broken nose,jaw and stage 3 concussion never send ur kids to discovery they make it look good on the outside but on the inside its not the same

Sam teriana 10 days ago
Teriana he didn't even go to kindergarten here, nor did you go to Northpoint. And I guarantee he does not have a stage 3 concussion, broken nose, or broken jar. Like seriously, stop spreading rumors and shut up. They lied about a lot, and a lot of these people are right, but saying this does not help anyone. Including yourself.
Carl 11 days ago
I like how the principal turned the issue on the parents and kids by saying it’s a reminder to teach your kids to say something when they see something. As if that would have likely changed this situation. That’s just an attempt to take blame off the perpetrating student and the staff of the school and put it on everyone else. No one needs that reminder in that statement. They need the school to take responsibility and the kid(s) involved responsibility. This isn’t a “it takes a village to raise a child” moment. It’s a...it sounds like someone is spinning this story to avoid a lawsuit and blame sort of moment. The language in the statement from the principal is the bureaucratic nonsense our school system throws out whenever something bad happens, too.
APerson 11 days ago
I just want to say something since multiple comments got removed. The person who beat the other student has had other occurances in the past. He has gotten into many fights in the past and has gotten into trouble with drugs. He should of been removed from school by now because of how many crimes he has done.
Jd 11 days ago
How can the punishment for failing a drug test, testing positive for nicotine, warrant a 10 day suspension and assaulting another human being only warrants a 4 day suspension?!?
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