York student charged in ‘disturbing’ attack on another student caught on video

A female student at a York County school, caught on video attacking another student during a fight, has been charged by police.

The student who could be seen on the video Monday kicking and punching another female student at York Middle School is charged with assault and disorderly conduct, said Andy Robinson, chief of the York Police Department.

The name of the student who faces the criminal charges has not been released because of her age, Robinson said. She was petitioned to the York County Family Court on the charges, then released to the custody of family members.

Police investigated for days after the fight was captured on cellphone video taken by another student.

York school officials described the video was “disturbing” and investigated along with police. Adults at the school, including teachers, administrators, and the school resource officer, handled the situation as soon as the fight was discovered, said Tim Cooper, spokesman for the school district.

“The district appreciates the thorough job and investigation of the York Police Department,” Cooper said. “We look forward to continued cooperation with them to ensure safe schools.”

Cooper said privacy rules do not allow the district to release the potential punishment for specific students. However, in similar cases, school policy allows punishment that can range from out of school suspension to expulsion, Cooper said.

Criminal charges against juveniles are handled by a team of prosecutors in Family Court.

York County juvenile prosecutor Whitney Payne said her office is aware of the charges. The defendant likely will make a first appearance in court in about a month, Payne said.

Robinson said school safety remains a priority for his department. Campus safety concerns have become a national issue after a South Carolina child death. A fifth-grade student in Walterboro died after a fight at school in March, Robinson said. RaNiya Wright died after that fight.

“We always take any incident on campus seriously, especially in light of what happened in the Lowcountry,” Robinson said. “We will do all we can to make sure campuses are safe.”

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.