San Angelo ISD Promises 'Swift and Immediate Disciplinary Action' First Thing Monday Morning in Response to Bullying Incident Depicted in Viral Video
SAN ANGELO, TX — A video passed around via social media purporting to have been recorded in a male restroom at Glenn Middle School prompted Glenn Middle School administrators and the San Angelo ISD administration to issue a statements regarding the alleged incident depicted. By Sunday, Superintendent Carl Dethloff responded to the incident and the San Angelo ISD said the local police are assisting.
“Glenn Middle School does not tolerate the behavior observed in a video circulating on social media. As soon as we were made aware of this incident we began investigating and contacting those involved. Swift disciplinary action will be taken according to the SAISD Code of Conduct, once the investigation is complete,” the statement posted to the Glenn Middle School Facebook page read.
The Glenn Middle School statement was posted early Saturday morning.
Sunday afternoon, the San Angelo ISD administration went further, noting that the school district is working with the San Angelo Police Department. Detailing the timeframes when administrators went into action, the San Angelo ISD released this official statement Sunday afternoon:
"Saturday morning, November 16, 2019, at approximately 7:15 a.m., San Angelo Independent School District and Glenn Middle School were made aware of a video circulating on social media regarding an incident in the Glenn Middle School restroom. Immediately district leaders and campus administrators began an investigation and identified the involved students. Parents and guardians of the involved students were contacted on Saturday, November 16, 2019. SAISD does not tolerate bullying, intimidation, or harassment. Swift and immediate disciplinary action will be taken Monday morning, November 18, 2019, according to the SAISD Code of Conduct and upon the completion of a thorough investigation. Local law enforcement is aware of the incident and is in communication with district leaders."
In the video, which has been posted hundreds of times, taken down, then reposted elsewhere, depicts a shorter student taunting a taller kid who is backed against a wall of what appears to be a restroom. Other kids are circled around as the tormentor demands the victim say something, like “fat Tuesday.” The victim replies, saying something about “toothpaste.” The tormentor, now seemingly egged on by those around him, asks the victim if he wants to find out about a “stick” or a “sting” before punching the victim on his left cheek as he was leaning against the wall. It did not appear there were any serious physical injuries in the video.
The video does not depict anyone making an effort to intervene or to leave to tell a faculty member. It appears that all gathered around the tormentor and victim are students. We will not post the video because it will identify the alleged perpetrator and victim who are minors.
In response to previous bullying incidents that have been publicized on social media, San Angelo ISD Superintendent Carl Dethloff has detailed the anti-bullying policy at the school district.
The San Angelo ISD anti-bullying policy was developed by benchmarking David’s Law that, “provides for anonymous reporting for students, includes cyberbullying off campus and after school hours, and modifies the parental/guardian notification procedure. It provides flexibility in the disciplinary placement or the expulsion of students engaged in certain types of very serious bullying,” according to San Angelo ISD literature.
The Texas Legislature almost three years ago passed David’s Law that addresses issues “Relating to harassment, bullying and cyberbullying of a public school student or minor and encouraging certain mental health programs for public school students increasing a criminal penalty, providing a civil remedy.”
Posting the video in itself could be violation of anti-bullying guidelines and laws if it was posted with the intention to humiliate the victim and proven so.
San Angelo ISD policies will shield the victim from further abuse as school district officials cannot publicly comment on investigations such as the one Glenn Middle School administrators promise.
"The safety of our students is our first priority. San Angelo ISD, by law, is not at liberty to publicly disclose the names of students or disciplinary actions taken. We follow the process indicated in our policy and immediately conduct an investigation. We encourage everyone to report threats of any kind to a district or school official, local law enforcement, or report the concern on our district Stay Alert link on the SAISD website. Student reports will be kept confidential," Dethloff said in an official statement.
Updated Nov. 17 at 4:30 p.m. with San Angelo ISD responses.
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