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Teacher, student won’t be charged over video of punch at Middletown Area Middle School

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 11/26/19

Charges will not be filed after an incident at Middletown Area Middle School on Nov. 15 in which a video appears to show a teacher punching a student, Lower Swatara Police Department said in a post …

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Teacher, student won’t be charged over video of punch at Middletown Area Middle School

Posted

Charges will not be filed after an incident at Middletown Area Middle School on Nov. 15 in which a video appears to show a teacher punching a student, Lower Swatara Police Department said in a post on Crimewatch.

“After consultation with the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office, it has been decided that no criminal charges or juvenile allegations are warranted in this case,” the department said in the post.

A video of the incident at MAMS was posted on social media and shared by abc27. The video appears to show a teacher attempting to intervene in a fight and in the process punching a student.

In a statement last week, the Middletown Area School District said the teacher was placed on paid administrative leave. The district said two students got into a fight during dismissal on Nov. 15, and a teacher on bus duty “interceded to separate the two students in an effort to quell the disturbance.”

Principals addressed it with the involved students and their parents immediately that afternoon, MASD said.

On Nov. 18, the district said it was informed of a video of the incident and received reports that the teacher may have interceded inappropriately. The teacher was placed on leave pending a full investigation, MASD said.

The teacher is still on paid administrative leave until a separate investigation by Dauphin County Children and Youth Services is completed, said MASD Superintendent Lori Suski.

She said the law enforcement investigation is one of three investigations into the incident, the others being CYS and the district. The Children and Youth Services investigation is ongoing and the agency has a total of 60 days to complete its investigation, she said.

Suski said MASD’s ability to close its investigation was contingent on the outcome of the Children and Youth Services investigation.

“Our hope is that the matter will be resolved soon for the sake of everyone involved,” Suski said.

“All video recordings, witness interviews and related information were carefully reviewed,” the police department said on Crimewatch.

Lower Swatara Police Chief Jeff Vargo on Nov. 19 said it was reported to police at about 6 p.m. Nov. 15.

One of the involved students, a 12-year-old Lower Swatara boy, sought medical treatment, he said.