Police are investigating an altercation involving multiple students Thursday at the St. Croix Central High School campus, the V.I. Education Department reported Friday. Commissioner Dionne Wells- Hedrington called the incident “deeply troubling and completely unacceptable.”
In response to the severity of the situation, an ambulance was called. However, a guardian chose to privately transport the student in need of medical attention, according to the department. “The incident is currently under active investigation by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Virgin Islands Department of Education. It has been classified as a Level 4 infraction,” it said.
All students identified as participants in the altercation have been suspended from school in accordance with the Board of Education’s Student Discipline Policy, according to the press release. Public school students are obligated to adhere to the policies the Board of Education and the regulations set forth by the Virgin Islands Department of Education.
“Level 4 infractions are considered serious violations that significantly affect the well-being of students and the school itself. Such actions and related incidents can lead to expulsion pending a disciplinary hearing, in accordance with the Board of Education’s Policy,” the release stated.
“We are aware that videos of the recent incident at St. Croix Central High School have circulated throughout our community. This incident is deeply troubling and completely unacceptable within our school campuses. One of the VIDE’s foremost priorities is ensuring that students can learn in safe environments. When incidents occur, school officials and our monitors immediately activate safety and security protocols. We are continuously evaluating and enhancing our response procedures and personnel deployment for school fights and campus lockdowns,” said Wells- Hedrington.
“It is important to recognize that various factors contribute to school violence, and addressing it requires the collective effort of administrators, teachers, parents, students, and the community. We must address the root causes that lead to violent acts, many of which originate off-campus and spill over into our schools. We seek the support of parents and guardians as we move forward,” she said.
“In a matter of days, the St. Croix District has faced two serious incidents that have disrupted the Claude O. Markoe Elementary School and the St. Croix Central High School campuses. The VIDE maintains a zero-tolerance policy for acts of violence and any situation that may jeopardize student safety. Our schools are dedicated to instruction and learning, and there is no room for fights or violence. We appreciate the ongoing assistance of the Virgin Islands Police Department as a crucial response resource while we address these issues,” said St. Croix Insular Superintendent Ericilda Ottley-Herman.
“The Disaster Planning and School Safety Division continues to work diligently to ensure that our school monitors are trained to respond to and manage these situations as they arise. Our top priority is safeguarding the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Irvin R. Mason, director of Disaster Planning and School Security.
“The Virgin Islands Department of Education is resolute in its commitment to prevention and intervention efforts aimed at supporting students across the territory. The VIDE will continue to invest in measures to keep student safety at the forefront of school protocols and policies,” the press release stated.