Video of altercation shared widely on social media
By Tony Kukulich
An altercation between two middle school students has resulted in criminal charges for one of the students involved.
The incident occurred Thursday, Feb. 10 at Lady’s Island Middle School in the Beaufort County School District (BCSD).
The student was charged with Assault and Battery 3rd degree and Student Threats as a result of the Beaufort Police Department’s (BPD) investigation into the incident, said BPD Capt. George Erdel in an email to The Island News.
“The case will be adjudicated in family court, as the suspect is a juvenile,” Erdel added.
A video of the assault was taken by a third student, reportedly at the request of the suspect in the assault. It was widely circulated on social media in the days after the incident.
“The accounts of what prompted the attack differ between the victim and the assailant, however as the video clearly shows, there was absolutely no justification for what took place,” Erdel said.
In the 30-second video, one student grabs a smaller student by the hair and pushes her. As the smaller student attempts to leave, she is hit in the face and falls to the ground, appearing to hit her head on a wooden bench as she falls. On the ground, she is kicked and threatened.
“Can I get up now, please?” she asks before being allowed to leave.
Another student is seen walking in on the assault, but appears to make no effort to summon help. The video ends as the victim gets off the ground.
Neither the school nor the BPD released information on where in the building the attack occurred.
“Although we cannot comment on individual student discipline matters or an active law enforcement investigation, the district will be taking appropriate action,” said Candace Bruder, BCSD director of communications.
Parents of Lady’s Island Middle School students were made aware of the incident by a voicemail left by the school principal, Chavon Browne.
“We do not condone any acts of violence in our school and strive to provide a safe, productive learning environment for our students each day,” Browne said in her message.
Tony Kukulich is a recent transplant to the Lowcountry. A native of Wilmington, Del., he comes to The Island News from the San Francisco Bay Area where he spent seven years as a reporter and photographer for several publications. He and his wife enjoy exploring their new home state. He can also frequently be found playing bass guitar with a couple of local bands. He can be reached at email@example.com.