Students in bullying case back in class

By Stephen Milligan - The walton tribune

Mother of victim says LHS has unsafe environment

A Walton County mother claimed unsafe conditions at Loganville High School after saying students who assaulted her son last year were back in classes this semester.

Angel Smith spoke before the Walton County Board of Education Tuesday at its monthly meeting to express concern about letting the students who reportedly attacked her son back on campus.

“Why are these students allowed back at school?” Smith said. “School must be a place where students feel safe and respected. How is Loganville High School sup- posed to be safe?”

The Loganville Police Department investigated two alleged bullying incidents in April and ultimately arrested four students, ranging 14 to 17, on a range of felony and misdemeanor charges including false imprisonment, simple battery and reckless conduct.

The victim, a 15-year-old ninth grader at LHS, claimed he was in the theater dressing room when two older students forced him into a bathroom and held him there for a prolonged period of time, allegedly spraying him with a cleaning chemical when he tried to escape.

A second incident of a similar nature included two more students and the victim reportedly claimed he was subjected to harassing comments of a homophobic nature. Smith said these students should have faced more serious consequences than to allow them back in school.

“Kids that want to come to this school system from another system cannot have felony charges, but these students are allowed back?” Smith said. “These students were willing to do these acts to my son. Who says they could not do this to another? They are capable of hurting others.”

Due to the students being minors, the school system was not able to release the specifics of their discipline record, or what legal consequences they faced in juvenile court, but the Walton County Public Schools office issued a statement on the matter.

“Four students involved in an incident at Loganville High School in April 2022 were disciplined in accordance with the Walton County School District Student Code of Conduct and faced legal consequences for their involvement,” the statement read. “Due to federal privacy laws, the Walton County School District cannot share specific details about the incident or comment on student discipline records. We take student and staff safety seriously and are committed to providing safe and orderly learning environments for all.”

Smith’s son is now being homeschooled and he is not at LHS with the students in question, but Smith said she is not satisfied with the current situation.

“They should not be back at school,” Smith said

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