By Mindy Ragan Wood
Yukon police are investigating two violent attacks on a Yukon Middle School student.
A disturbing video obtained by the Yukon Progress captures the incident on Friday afternoon which shows at least two students punching and kicking a male student. The boy tries to block the attack while no one steps in to stop his attackers.
A student is heard telling the female assailant wearing an orange top and dark pants replied, “He ain’t gonna touch me.”
The attack occurred in the 400 block of S. Ranchwood Boulevard.
In a prior incident last Thursday, district officials confirmed the same victim was assaulted on school grounds and a prepared statement from the Yukon Police Department states it was in a bathroom believed to be at the middle school. That incident was also caught on camera and shows a student assault him from behind, according to the police department’s statement.
Yukon Public Schools Superintendent Jason Simeroth said in a prepared video statement that the students responsible in that attack had been disciplined.
A local parent posted the video Friday from the Ranchwood attack and said the female in the video is the same girl who bullied her daughter last year.
[DISCLAIMER: Please note the following video has sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.]
“The girl in orange bullied our daughter last year and nothing was done,” Stacie Martin announced on her Facebook page.
“When she reported it, the girl got called into the office, but nothing happened except the girl approached (name withheld) at lunch verbally attacking her for telling on her,” she wrote.
Martin said in her post that the video had been shared with local media.
“The way I see it, if the school system isn’t going to do anything about it when the kids report it then maybe all of the negative publicity will force them to do something.”
Federal law prohibits district officials from revealing any disciplinary action taken against a student for any reason to anyone other than the parents or legal guardian. School officials cannot tell the victim nor the victim’s parents what disciplinary actions have or have not been taken.
“We protect kids legally. We try to protect them physically,” Simeroth said in a video posted to the district Facebook page. “We know that our teachers and our administrators are on it when it happens. The minute we find out it happens they are on it.”
The district’s board policies detail the procedures taken when officials are made aware of a student who has been victimized. The investigation process can include a conference with parents and lead to detention, referral to a counselor, changing a student’s seating or classroom assignment, financial restitution, restriction of privileges, a criminal investigation and suspension.
Yukon police investigators said they have identified the students who are accused of the assault. They will determine if the matter can be referred to the Canadian County District Attorney for consideration of criminal charges. The students could be arrested if a judge authorizes it.
Simeroth had strong words about the incident.
“We are appalled every time something like this happens and our heart goes out to that kid and the families of anything like that when it happens,” he said during the video statement. “I’m a parent and we have absolutely a wealth of emotions for that child.”
The superintendent also begged the public to refrain from posting reports of bullying to social media.
“I would ask you please come to us before you go to social media,” Simeroth said. “Let us have a crack at solving the problem. Chances are we’ve probably already solved the problem but couldn’t tell you about it. The other way is to become part of our district. You can become a mentor to a kid. You can work in our lunchroom if you want to, a substitute teacher, a bus driver, you can become a teacher. There are so many opportunities for you to volunteer in our district to become part of the solution.”