One student faces a misdemeanor assault charge after a fight at Tuscola High School left another student with serious injuries, and a video of the fight was circulated on social media.
School officials said the fight happened about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2017, when a male student assaulted another student.
Another student recorded the assault, and the 20-second video was shared electronically with others. On Thursday, May 4, school officials were informed that the video was circulating on social media.
“This was an aggressive assault, and watching the video actually made us feel nauseated,” Tuscola High School Principal Travis Collins said. “This is unacceptable behavior, and we will use our existing policies and laws to issue appropriately firm discipline for the student committing the assault and the student who made and transmitted the video.”
Haywood County Assistant School Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte said the fight was over a relationship.
“He had gone over to him, made a kind gesture, like shaking his hand, then picked him up and slammed him into the ground,” Dr. Nolte said. “It was outside between two buildings, so it was on concrete.”
School leaders said the aggressor and the person who recorded the attack will be disciplined.
“We are thankful for the intervention of other students and staff as they yelled at the student committing the assault and began moving toward the incident to intervene,” Nolte said. “Our thoughts are with the injured student. We ask people not to share the video with others. This adds insult to injury and advertises something that should be condemned.”
Haywood County School Superintendent Anne Garrett praised students who saw the incident and quickly notified officials. But, she said the viral video has led to many false rumors about the aggressor and the victim.
“It is very disappointing that such an act would occur at one of our schools,” Garrett said. “We stand with Mr. Collins and his staff as they work through this difficult situation. They are working hard to stabilize the campus climate during this very important time of the year.”
Nolte said the victim of the assault is recovering from serious injuries, and his family is asking for privacy at this time.