Students disciplined from fights at HCHS

Published 3:43 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

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AHOSKIE – Sixteen students have been disciplined in connection to fights that occurred Sept. 20 here at Hertford County High School.

Those fights led to a lockdown of the school, which was reported the same day by this newspaper.

Tonya Freeman, Public Information Officer with Hertford County Public Schools (HCPS), said the students involved in two fights committed Level One violations that are outlined in HCPS policy.

That policy lists 21 types of Level One violations, to include fighting, which, by HCPS policy, is defined as “hitting, shoving, scratching, biting, blocking the passage of, or throwing objects at another person. Taking any action or making comments or writing messages which might reasonably be expected to result in a fight.”

The policy also details what type of punishment a student or students face in committing a Level One violation. That portion of the policy reads as follows:

“Penalty – Except as otherwise noted, the first violation of any of the Level One offenses may result in short-term suspension from the Hertford County Schools for up to ten (10) days or for up to the remainder of the school year for a serious violation. A second violation of the same Level One offense during a school year may result in a long-term suspension from the Hertford County Schools for the remainder of the school year. In all cases involving a long-term suspension, the superintendent may assign the student to an alternative program approved by the Board of Education. All assignments to an alternative program will be made by the superintendent on a case by case basis and shall be done only under conditions of probation.”

The Sept. 20 fight at HCHS did not involve firearms or knives, according to information released that day by Freeman.

Dr. Jesse Pratt, Superintendent of Hertford County Public Schools, immediately denounced the disruptive and inappropriate behavior at the high school and promised action on the matter.

“We will take all necessary and appropriate actions to address the situation and ensure that those involved are held accountable,” Dr. Pratt said in a statement sent Sept. 20 to this newspaper.

The fights prompted response to the high school by the Ahoskie Police Department, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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