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Mountain View HS failed to ‘accurately describe severity’ of stabbing incident, principal admits

During the fight, one of the students was “poked several times” with a pencil, the initial letter read.
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A principal at a metro Atlanta high school is apologizing to parents after details surrounding a fight, inside a classroom, were revealed.

On Thursday, the Mountain View High School principal in Gwinnett County, Keith Chaney, sent a letter to parents notifying them that two 9th grade students got into a fight around 1 p.m. During the fight, one of the students was “poked several times” with a pencil, the letter read.

“Everybody was scared about it,” said one student, who witnessed the fight and asked to remain anonymous. “The kids were having words, arguing over who had cooler shoes and then it escalated.”

Several videos of the incident, posted on social media, show two students fighting in a classroom at the high school. At one point, a weapon that resembles a blade or knife is visible. One of the students was taken to the hospital, the other was arrested.

“That was not a poke,” said the anonymous student. “That was stabbing, full force stabbing.”

“With what sort of weapon,” CBS46 reporter Zac Summers asked the student. “A green knife, a green pocketknife,” the student replied.

On Friday, Principal Chaney acknowledged that his initial communication to parents “did not accurately describe the severity of the situation.” He added, “the words I used yesterday were not the right words.”

However, the letter reiterated that the student with the weapon told school officials he had a mechanical pencil during the fight. According to the letter, officials are still working to determine what kind of weapon was used.

Ravi Kandale’s 6th-grade daughter is friends with both students who were fighting. He said the filmed “rage” was unacceptable, but he expected more from school leadership.

“I believe the school has more responsibility,” he said. “Yes, there is a responsibility on the parent, but schools are framing their lives.”

Ana Lopez, who has an 11th grader at the school, agreed.

“It was kind of downplayed in my opinion, yeah, but I think it’s the way the school kind of manages situations,” she said. “They don’t want to panic everybody. They want to calm everybody down, but I wasn’t happy about it.”

Family members of the student who was stabbed told CBS46 he suffered multiple stabbed wounds that required him to remain at the hospital overnight for observation. Possible criminal charges and disciplinary action by the school are pending. The incident remains under investigation.

Letter from Mountain View HS
Letter from Mountain View HS(WGCL)