Parents meet with superintendent following bat attack


NEW TONIGHT … … PARENTS IN NEWPORT ARE MEEING WITH THE SUPERTINTENDENT — FOLLOWING A VIOLENT INCIDENT AT THOMPSON MIDDLE SCHOOL. (HE) THE FIRST OF FOUR PUBLIC FORUMS — TAKING PLACE TONIGHT — AFTER A STUDENT WAS ALLEGEDLY HIT WITH A BAT IN THE HALLWAY — BY TWO OTHER STUDENTS. EYEWITNESS NEWS REPORTER CAROLINE GOGGIN JOINS US NOW IN STUDIO WITH MORE. (CG) THIS EVENING’S MEETING WAS THE FIRST OF FOUR. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF NEWPORT SCHOOLS TELLING THE CROWD — HER ADMINISTRATION WILL BE TAKING NOTES — FINDING WAYS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES — AND THEN SHARING THEIR SOLUTIONS WITH THE PUBLIC. SHE SAID THEY’RE DOING THE BEST THEY CAN — BUT DRASTIC CHANGE WON’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. AND THAT HAD MANY PARENTS UP IN ARMS. FRUSTRATED PARENTS — FILLING THOMPSON MIDDLE SCHOOL WEDNESDAY EVENING. FIRED UP — AFTER A VIOLENT INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE IN THESE VERY HALLS LAST WEEK. “I didn’t hear about the incident that happened from school. No one called my phone. I didn’t get a message. My child came home and told me.” NEWPORT POLICE SAY TWO MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS WERE ARRESTED LAST THURSDAY — FOR ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTING ANOTHER STUDENT — AT HIS LOCKER — WITH A BASEBALL BAT. THE 14 YEAR OLD VICTIM WAS TAKEN TO NEWPORT HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT. THE BOYS ARRESTED — AGES 12 AND 14 — WERE BROTHERS. WE SPOKE WITH THEIR DAD TONIGHT — WHO SAYS HIS SONS WERE DEFENDING THEMSELVES AGAINST A BULLY. “The bully just, I guess was doing way too much, ya know. And they just couldn’t deal with it anymore. This was the best way they thought they could go about the situation, which was wrong.” HE SAYS HIS SONS BROUGHT THE ALLEGED BULLYING TO HIS ATTENTION BEFORE THURSDAY’S INCIDENT — AND THAT HE HAD SPOKEN WITH SCHOOL OFFICIALS ABOUT IT. SUPERINTENDENT COLLEEN BURNS JERMAIN SAYS THE SCHOOL WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO ADDRESS THE ALLEGED BULLYING THURSDAY MORNING… AND THEN THE INCIDENT HAPPENED. JERMAIN ADMITS COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS AFTERWARD — WAS AN ISSUE. “I would give us a D. Unfortunately, children went home and parents had to learn from their children what happened.” NOW THOSE PARENTS — WANT ANSWERS. MANY LOOKING FOR THE DISTRICT TO TAKE A PROACTIVE — NOT REACTIVE — APPROACH TO VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS. “they need to get to the bottom of it because if children are lashing out with violence, and they’re not talking to the teachers, and they aren’t saying anything to the parents, there’s a big communication issue. There’s a trust issue.” (CG) THE BOYS WHO WERE ARRESTED ARE STILL SUSPENDED FROM THOMPSON. THERE WILL BE THREE MORE OPPORTUNITIES THIS WEEK — FOR NEWPORT PARENTS TO ATTEND THIS SCHOOL SAFETY FORUM. HEAD TO OUR WEBSITE — WPRI DOT COM — FOR DATES, TIMES, AND LOCATIONS. CAROLINE GOGGIN,

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