Several organizations, including the Maryland chapter of the NAACP, are calling for male staff members at Howard County High School in the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City to be criminally charged after disturbing video footage showing school officials restraining and striking the student in the head.
In a statement to WUSA9 earlier this month, Howard County Public Schools said that the student, whose name has not been released, reportedly assaulted multiple other students on Thursday, Dec. 2, in the cafeteria and that the Howard County Public School security guard and a school administrator intervened and helped the school student resource officer subdue the student — the three staff members featured in the disturbing clip.
The student, who is Black, was later disciplined. The security assistant, a former police officer, was placed on paid leave. However, the NAACP says the school employees should be charged.
“It has been brought to our attention that criminal charges have been filed against the child who was attacked by an adult HCPSS employee, but no charges have been filed against the adult,” president of the NAACP Maryland State Conference Willie Flowers said in a statement to the news station.
“We have demanded an investigation into the incident, but we never thought that a student would be charged for a crime when the student was the one on the ground being assaulted by three male adults and punched in the head by one of them.
It sends a terrible message to the community that children will be abused, and the traumatizing acts of an adult employee will be overlooked,” Flowers added.
“The security assistant assaulted the student with the amount of force that is intended to cause serious bodily harm while the SRO and assistant principals stood by and watched,” NAACP representative Candace Jaimes said. “Therefore, it is the position of the NAACP that the staff that was involved in that incident should be fired and charged criminally.”
Howard County Black Community Aging Council and African American Community Roundtable have also called for the employees to be terminated. Barbara Peart of the Council on Aging said incidents like these are not foreign and says there’s no room to question the student’s behavior in a statement to US Time Today.
“We demand that appropriate measures be taken against others who have perpetrated violence against this child and the school system, instead of hiding behind the policies, look at the policies and realize what isn’t working, what needs to be done, and what needs to be changed,” Peart added.
In addition, the organization is also asking that Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano review their training procedure and the hiring practices for staff so that “they are safe to be in contact with students.”
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