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3 | White Knoll Student Cut on Neck, Another Arrested

3:49 PM, Dec 20, 2006   |    comments
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(White Knoll) - Police say two female students at White Knoll High School were involved in a fight Tuesday morning which left one girl cut on the neck and the other arrested. The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. in a common area of the school. Lexington County deputies say two 15-year-old girls got into a fight. At one point, deputies say one of the girls used a razor blade to injure the other one on the neck. Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said the 15-year-old girl who was cut in the neck was taken by helicopter to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, where she received medical treatment. Authorities say the girl’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, and it appears that the girl will recover from her injuries. The suspect was arrested by the school resource officer. Deputies say that girl has been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possessing a weapon on school grounds. Metts said Detectives questioned the girl on Tuesday. The girl later was taken to a South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice pre-trial detention facility, where she will be held while she awaits a hearing in Lexington County family court on the criminal charges. Metts said he will ask 11th Circuit Solicitor Donald V. Myers to file a petition in family court to try the 15-year-old girl as an adult in general sessions court. “Weapons violations committed by students and violence involving weapons that students bring on school grounds will not be tolerated in Lexington County,” Metts said. Deputies say these same two girls were suspended from school just last week for fighting with each other. A district spokesperson says classes resumed as normal after the incident. Tuesday's incident is just the latest in a cases where students were found with weapons on campus in Lexington School District One. On September 18, a gun and knife were found in the possession of someone on school grounds at Gilbert High. The next day, a knife was found at Lexington High School. On September 22, a student was found with a knife at White Knoll, and then a similar incident was reported on September 25. However, in all of those cases, there was no evidence that the students with the weapons intended to harm any of their fellow classmates. “That is like one of the worst things I've ever seen.” said eyewitness and White Knoll freshman Leah Murphey. She says she'll never forget walking out of second period. “It was like bloody everywhere. It was like even though she got cut, she was still trying to fight her battle,” she said. The first thing she says she did… call her mother Sherry. “I asked her what happened. She said 'I watched one of my friends get their throat cut.' I said I'll be there in just a second and it didn't take me long to get there,” her mother said. Leah says when she left class it was a mob scene during the fight between the two 15-year-olds. “I consider them my friends,” Leah said. “I was just amazed that somebody could do something like that to somebody else and that doesn't bother them or anything.” Metts says he will meet with Lexington One Superintendent Karen Woodard to discuss short-term and long-term security enhancements at the school. Additional deputies already have been assigned to White Knoll High. Sherry says her daughter won't be in school for a while. But says when she does go back, no matter the precautions, she'll be nervous. “I'm going to be scared. I pray for them everyday. I pray for every student. It's a shame that I have to pray for my daughter everyday to make sure she gets home safe from school,” Sherry said. “It's not that I don't feel safe,” Leah said. “I don't really, but I also don't feel safe for my friends knowing that this could happen any day.” Lexington School District One released the following statement about the incident: Tuesday morning, September 26, 2006, at 11:35 a.m. in the commons area of White Knoll High School two Grade 9 15-year-old female students got into a fight. One was injured and is receiving medical treatment at a local hospital. The school nurse attended the student until she was transported by helicopter to Richland Memorial Hospital. The helicopter picked her up from the parking lot of Red Bank Baptist Church on Highway 6. The other student has been arrested by the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and taken into custody. The rest of the school day proceeded normally. These same two students were involved in a fight last week and received a three-day out of school suspension. Acting in accordance with Board Policy and district procedure, administrators at White Knoll High School contacted both students' parents/guardians, suspended one student while she waits for an expulsion hearing with the district's hearing officer, and filed an incident report with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department. State law (16-23-430) prohibits students from bringing any item capable of injuring another person on to school property or to any school-sponsored or school-related activities on or off school property. This includes any type of knife. Any student who possesses, handles or transmits a knife will be recommended for expulsion. At the beginning of each school year, students and staff go over the rules and regulations of the district including the rules concerning weapons on school grounds or at any school-sponsored events whether on or off the school grounds. Each student received a copy of the Student/Parent Handbook at the beginning of the school year. Copies of all Lexington County School District One policies are also available on the district's Web site at www.lexington1.net. The district takes any incident like this very seriously. Our primary concern is always the health and safety of our students and we are working closely with Lexington County Sheriff's Department officials.

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