Middle school assault over snitching

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image courtesy @kj2018 on UnSplash

Frederick County Public School District in Frederick, Maryland, is investigating an alleged middle school assault at Urbana Middle School on Wednesday that was captured on a cell phone camera after the victim was accused of “snitching” on another student who had brought a type of electronic cigarette to class.

The video appears to show the victim being accosted somewhere outside the school, and after running away, and then apologizing, being attacked to the approval of an excited mob of students. He is also shown, and heard, begging for mercy, as the camera continues to roll. While FCPS insists it was made aware of the assault “almost immediately,” one wonders what the character education in Urbana Middle School includes, if no student is purported to have attempted to help the student who was attacked. And while the video provides impressive evidence against the attackers, the culture of “watch, don’t act,” is not only alive and well in junior high, but seems to be enabled. Of course, the spokesman for FCPS stressed that this was not the case: “Anytime an incident like this happens, school administrators and law enforcement work hard to determine the cause of the incident, but the most important thing to us is that violence of any kind is simply unacceptable, so regardless of the exact precipitating events, we want to help our students find productive and safe ways to deal with events at school.”

Drawing parallels between public school and prison is a simple task, indeed. When do the majority of prison assaults occur? When authority figures’ backs are turned. What happens during the assault? Do fellow prisoners come to the victim’s aid? Or, if they were afforded the use of a cell phone camera, might the same thing happen that occurred on the grounds of Urbana Middle School?

Disciplinary actions were taken by the school, but FCPS declined to disclose what those actions were. The assault is also being investigated by local law enforcement.

FCPS spokesman Michael Doerrer said a lot of things were up in the air, but he did affirm, “What I do know for sure is that the school is safe.” Is it?

Urbana Middle School in Ijamsville, Maryland, serves approximately 1000 students in Frederick County, and lists two of its core values as “demonstrating empathy, caring, and respect for all,” and “Creating and maintaining a safe school climate.

Assault leads to disciplinary action, investigation of Urbana Middle School students

Frederick County Public Schools – Urbana Middle Schoool

School shooting at Texas high school, 8-10 dead, suspect in custody

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image courtesy Facebook

Does this look like the face of evil to you?

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, was arrested this morning in connection with a shooting at his Texas high school that left as many as 10 people dead (early reports confirm 9 students and 1 adult murdered), and many others injured, including a school resource officer. Students at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas told reporters they’d seen Pagourtzis prowling the halls wearing a black trench coat and carrying a sawed-off shotgun. At least three life-flight helicopters landed on school grounds to transport critically injured people to the hospital.

Pagourtzis apparently wasted no time, as it was reported that the school was placed on lockdown due to an active shooter at 8am. The situation was contained by 10am, after two hours of horror. Investigations also included the search for homemade pipe bombs in a mobile home he is said to have lived in, a mile from the school. But “the worst is over,” according to assistant principal Cris Richardson. Tell that to the grief stricken parents that will never see their children alive, again.

This attack was most definitely premeditated, as last month Pagourtzis purchased a t-shirt reading “Born to Kill,” and posted it proudly on his Facebook page, which has since been removed. He played football at the school and was listed as an honor student in his younger years, but is also described by classmates as quiet and withdrawn.

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Pagourtzis’ social media accounts are being removed, but some people were quick to get screenshots beforehand

There’s been no definitive link between the two incidents, but back in March, the school was placed on lockdown due to reports of shots being fired within the school. So Santa Fe High is no stranger to the fear that comes with mass shootings. They held a walkout on April 20th of this year, in protest of gun violence. That sure did a whole lot.

Early interviews with students alluded to Pagourtzis being bullied by peers and teachers alike. It’s no secret that bullying is rampant in schools, due in part to the complete lack of a true moral code (“What’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for Derek, you closed minded bigot”) and mob mentality that is present in unnatural environments of forced socialization (prison also comes to mind). Most kids escape relatively unscathed. Some have lasting issues that continue into adulthood. And a few become mass shooters. How will your children be affected?

Multiple fatalities reported after Texas high school shooting – live updates

Dimitrios Pagourtzis: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Santa Fe shooting suspect is student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, who had ‘Born to Kill’ t-shirt