Staff member at Charles Co. high school airlifted to hospital after student fight

After one student tossed a textbook at another’s head, a melee ensued at a Charles County, Maryland, high school that sent both a teacher and a student to the hospital.

At around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, a student threw a textbook, which hit the head of another student in a classroom at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf.

After the struck student texted friends in other parts of the building, those students entered the classroom and a disruption ensued involving “desks being thrown at others and other students attempting to leave the classroom,” said Principal Shanif Pearl in a letter sent to parents.

When staff tried to quell the conflict, one teacher was injured after being knocked into a locker, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Other staff members intervened and were able to end the altercation.

Pearl said that after administrators called 911, the high school was placed on “hold status” to allow EMS workers to enter the building.

As a precaution, the injured staff member was airlifted to the hospital. The student who was hit by a book was also taken to the hospital, deputies said. In both cases, officials say the injuries were not life-threatening.

After the incident, the school nurse inspected other students and staff for injuries. Hold status on the school was released shortly before dismissal time and students were released about five minutes late, Pearl said.

The principal also said that they were working with the school resource officer (SRO) to investigate the incident. Students directly involved with the fight face disciplinary action from the school system and possible assault charges by police.

In her letter to parents, Pearl asked parents to encourage students “to speak to a teacher, administrator or other staff member if they need help managing conflicts with others.” She also said “certain behaviors, such as assaulting a staff member, can result in charges by police.”

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation into the incident is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer L. Payne at 301-609-3282 Ext. 0452.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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