Stu­dent taken into cus­tody after in­ci­dent at school

A mid­dle school stu­dent be­came ‘ex­tremely ag­i­tated’ prior to phys­i­cal in­ci­dent, school of­fi­cials say

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ginger Rae Dun­bar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

WEST BRANDY­WINE >> A North Brandy­wine Mid­dle School stu­dent was taken into po­lice cus­tody on Tues­day fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent at the school that be­came phys­i­cal.

School of­fi­cials in­formed par­ents of the mat­ter on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day. The Daily Lo­cal News ob­tained those mes­sages on Wed­nes­day from Coatesville Area School Dis­trict of­fi­cials.

North Brandy­wine As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Melissa Wil­lis emailed

a let­ter to par­ents on Wed­nes­day at about 1:45 p.m. with the sub­ject line of “yes­ter­day’s in­ci­dent” to pro­vide them with more de­tails about the “dis­turb­ing in­ci­dent.”

“One of our eighth-grade stu­dents be­came ex­tremely ag­i­tated and en­tered an­other stu­dent’s class­room,” Wil­lis wrote. “Two staff mem­bers at­tempted to stop the stu­dent from en­ter­ing the class­room. They were un­suc­cess­ful.”

The staff mem­bers called the of­fice for sup­port. She said that teach­ers kept their stu­dents in­side their class­rooms un­til the dis­rup­tive stu­dent could be re­moved from the build­ing.

“Upon en­ter­ing the room, the stu­dent pushed desks out of their rows and into sev­eral stu­dents, all are fine,” Wil­lis wrote. “The stu­dent who en­tered the room did make phys­i­cal con­tact with two other stu­dents dur­ing the in­ci­dent. They are also fine. One teacher did seek med­i­cal treat­ment and is rest­ing at home.”

West Brandy­wine po­lice were dis­patched at 12:54 p.m. to the school at 256 Reeceville Road for a re­port of an as­sault with in­juries. Upon ar­rival, po­lice said they found a 12-yearold male ju­ve­nile in the hall­way be­ing re­strained by school ad­min­is­tra­tion. Po­lice said their in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that about five or six stu­dents and two teach­ers were in­jured.

West Brandy­wine po­lice said that one stu­dent and one teacher were trans­ported to Brandy­wine Hos­pi­tal for ob­ser­va­tion of the in­juries sus­tained in this in­ci­dent, while the oth­ers were checked on scene at the school by EMS per­son­nel.

Coatesville Area School Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Cathy Taschner said that she could not dis­cuss per­son­nel is­sues, but she did an­nounce that the teacher is fine and he will re­turn to school.

That stu­dent has been charged with ag­gra­vated as­sault, sim­ple as­sault, reck­less en­dan­ger­ing an­other per­son, ha­rass­ment and dis­or­derly con­duct. Wil­lis said school of­fi­cials were in­formed that the stu­dent was taken into po­lice cus­tody and is fac­ing charges.

North Brandy­wine Prin­ci­pal Christo­pher Jahnke sent a voice mes­sage to par­ents on Tues­day fol­low­ing the disturbance to in­form them of an “in­ci­dent this af­ter­noon.”

“To en­sure cau­tion, we held all stu­dents in their class­rooms as we worked through the sit­u­a­tion,” Jahnke said. Dis­trict of­fi­cials added that the stu­dents were not on a lock­down. “As al­ways, the safety of ev­ery­one is our pri­mary ob­jec­tive. We did call the lo­cal law agency to en­sure ev­ery­one’s safety. All staff, stu­dents and fac­ulty are safe.”

While sev­eral fight­ing in­ci­dents oc­curred at the high school level dur­ing the 2015-16 school year, Wil­lis re­as­sured the par­ents that such in­ci­dents are rare at the mid­dle school.

“While this in­ci­dent is very up­set­ting, I want to as­sure you that this is not in any way some­thing we nor­mally ex­pe­ri­ence at North Brandy­wine,” Wil­lis said. “Our school is over­whelm­ingly a peace­ful place where we strive to en­sure stu­dents feel safe, pro­tected, and en­cour­aged.

“We have a strict dis­ci­pline code to which we ad­here, and we have stan­dards of peace­ful­ness and re­spect, and pro­ce­dures in place to pro­mote them,” Wil­lis said.

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