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Ogden HS student removed after fight, authorities investigating

By Tim Vandenack - | May 25, 2022

Harrison Epstein, Standard-Examiner file photo

Ogden High School is shown on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

OGDEN — An apparent attack by one student on another at Ogden High School last week has resulted in the removal of one of the students involved from school.

The violent incident is also garnering the attention of law enforcement officials, the Ogden School District said in a statement Tuesday.

“The Ogden Police Department and the Weber County Attorney will oversee the criminal process related to this incident,” the district statement reads. Video of the incident, shown on Telemundo Utah, KUTV and Fox 13, shows one student beating and kicking a second student who is sprawled on what appears to be a bathroom floor. Both are females.

The district statement said the incident occurred May 18 at Ogden High School but didn’t provide additional details about what transpired or those involved, citing privacy laws governing students.

The student who was removed from school, the apparent aggressor, won’t be able to return for the rest of the school year, which ends on Friday. The student will still get schooling, per legal guidelines, while “disciplinary and behavior intervention steps in line with the severity of this incident will also continue,” according to the statement.

The other student “has been welcomed back to school” and will get support from counselors and administrators. “These supports will be individualized and targeted to the student’s specific needs,” reads the district statement.

Arlene Anderson, a member of the Ogden School Board, referenced the incident in a Facebook post. Like the school district statement, she didn’t delve into details given privacy laws applicable to students.

“I’m deeply saddened and upset by this traumatic event and my prayers go out to the students and their families involved. No student nor parent should ever have to endure this,” she said. She went on, issuing a call for kindness: “Let us come together as a community to support our students in creating a kinder world and be accepted for who we are, as we are.”

The Telemundo report, which included comments from the mother of the girl who faced the attack, said the victim suffered a concussion and was brought to a hospital emergency room. She had faced bullying from other students since last year, the mother said, because of the praise she received from teachers for her strides learning English. She arrived from Mexico in mid-2021.

The incident isn’t the only violent confrontation that has garnered the attention of Ogden school officials.

Mount Ogden Junior High School issued a statement to parents late last month referencing a fight there and the apparent trend at schools across the country of students filming fights and posting the video to social media. A fight at Mount Ogden the day before was filmed by several students and posted online.

“Continue to have conversations with your students about why reporting is important, why fighting is not the answer for conflicts and how filming and sharing or posting the videos may contribute to an unsafe culture,” reads the statement to parents. “We encourage you to look carefully at your students’ phones, particularly their Instagram accounts and Snap Chat accounts, and the videos, photos and messages that they have saved in those apps and on their phones.”

In a message geared to students, also provided to parents ahead of time late last April, school leaders issued an admonishment against fighting.

“Fighting is NOT what we are about. We ARE about learning to understand, to listen, to be kind, to help and support each other, and to encourage success and excellence in each other. This is a place where everyone should be able to come and be safe to learn and socialize with friends,” reads the statement.

School officials called on students to reach out to a teacher, other school employee or other adult to report fighting or violence. They also warned against filming violence and posting it publicly.

“This is NOT okay. Students who incite violence by filming and/or posting fights will receive consequences that will include parent contact and may include detention, suspension and in some cases, referral to law enforcement,” last month’s statement to the Mount Ogden student continues.

It went on, calling on students involved in a conflict to reach out to an adult if they can’t work it out. “We can help resolve conflicts and can help build conflict resolution skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life,” it reads.

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