Lamar County: 4 teens suspended after fight with special needs student

Lamar County: 4 teens suspended after fight with special needs student
Photo credit: WDAM

SUMRALL, MS (WDAM) - An incident after a Sumrall High School football game resulted in the suspension of four students.

The incident that Lamar County School District officials are calling a fight happened on Oct. 7 after a Sumrall football game in Marion County.

"The incident involved four boys as the bus was loading, and they essentially got into a fight with another young man and it was broken up relatively quickly," Lamar County School District Superintendent Tess Smith said.

Smith confirmed the incident involved a special needs student, and that the matter was reported to the coaches as well.

"When they got back to the campus, the coach notified the parents, and we were on fall break so it was actually the Wednesday after before we could actually begin the investigation," Smith said. "The principal, the assistant principal and actually two of our resource officers assisted with the investigation to determine who all was involved and what punishment should be dealt out."

According to Smith, the incident was caught on the bus's camera.

"One thing we will not tolerate is if you put your hands on another student, it's not to be tolerated," Smith said.  "Now we do try to use some common sense, was it a push, was it a punch, was it a bloody fist fight, but we try to look at all those things and be very consistent about our punishment, but we do not tolerate putting hands on someone else."

Smith added that the student was fine and was back at school, that he had not missed any time from class.

"We are thankful for that always, because we do care about the safety of each and every one of our students," Smith said.

Rumors started circulating last week involving mentions of a sexual assault, but Smith said that was not the case.

"No, it had nothing to do with sexual assault at all," Smith said. "We do have video on our buses and I'm very thankful for that because it helped tremendously in this situation, for us to be able to identify the students and know exactly what occurred and when it occurred."

Smith said that no clothes were removed during the fight, and no one was seriously injured.

"Social media and gossip has not helped us on this one, the facts just need to be plain, we don't tolerate any behavior against another student, discipline has been handed out, it was done swiftly and it was correct for what was needed for the punishment in this situation," Smith said.

The four students that were disciplined are not being identified because they are minors. Also, they are not facing any criminal charges.

District officials confirmed that the students were suspended and removed from the football team until January 2017.

"There is no follow up investigation, and everything stayed on campus and there is no charges being pressed or anything else pursued beyond this," Smith said.