LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It goes down in seconds: an apparent fight between two Mabelvale Middle School students when a staff member jumps in and appears to punch one of the middle schoolers.
KARK 4 is not identifying the Little Rock School District employee because we cannot independently confirm their identity.
Elizabeth Lyon-Ballay, the publisher of the blog Orchestrating Change, which focuses on education received the video.
“That staff member told me that everybody in the school had seen this happen or knew about it.,” says Lyon-Ballay.
She says it happened on January 30 at Mabelvale Middle School.
According to a Little Rock Police Department report filed that same day, the school’s principal told officers she jumped into a fight to break it up then used her body to keep the student out of the way of getting inside the classroom to the other student.
The report goes onto state that the principal told officers the 14-year-old became upset and punched her. Officers reported the principal had a swollen eye.
Police say the teenager agreed with what the principal told officers.
“The girl [student] that got punched was shipped off to the Alternative Learning Environment,” says Lyon-Ballay.
The Little Rock School District released the following statement:
Yesterday, the LRSD administration was made aware of footage from a video of an incident, alleged to have happened on January 30, 2019, that was reported to us through a blog. The video depicts an altercation between a staff member and a student. As soon as we learned of the incident, we immediately launched an investigation, which included contacting the Child Abuse Hotline. Due to the fact that it is not actual LRSD surveillance video, our investigation will require additional follow-up with multiple individuals – students and staff. However, we will be diligent in our efforts. The staff person has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a more thorough review of the incident. Please know that LRSD takes such matters seriously and when made aware, will investigate swiftly and thoroughly, and follow our protocols. Because this is a personnel matter, we will not be able to provide additional comments at this time.
LRSD is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and nurturing educational atmosphere for all students.
The girl’s mother tells us she’s upset with the Little Rock School District because she was never told her daughter was punched by a school district employee. KARK 4 is not identifying her or her mother because she is a juvenile.