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Fight at Magruder HS leaves Montgomery Co. defending medical policy

WASHINGTON — A fight between two ninth graders at Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland, left a student hospitalized, a school system defending its response to the child’s injuries and police investigating what’s been characterized as a “mutual assault.”

Since the fight Tuesday, the school’s principal sent out two letters to students and families.

On Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Leroy Evans asked for anyone with information about the “physical altercation” to assist the investigation.

Evans sent out another letter Friday morning, informing Magruder staff and families that one child involved in the altercation remains hospitalized in serious condition.

That letter also expressed disappointment that some students “chose to watch and encourage the classmates to engage in this destructive behavior,” and said fighting will not be tolerated. In addition, the letter tried to clarify what happened.

Evans’ letter also assured parents that medical staff is on duty during the school day at all Montgomery County schools.

“These trained medical technicians, who are employees of the Department of Health and Human Services, provide immediate medical review of students and make the determination regarding an additional medical support that may be needed,” Evans wrote.

The day of the fight, the injured boy was sent home with a parent, who then took him to receive medical care.

In an email, Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Derek Turner wrote that the school’s “certified health technician engaged in the appropriate practices after the student altercation was broken up.”

Turner said he believes school security and medical staff responded appropriately, adding, “MCPS always reviews incidents as part of standard protocol.”

Montgomery County police are investigating, but it’s unclear how long that will take since the hospitalized child won’t be questioned immediately.

“Our main concern is about the health and welfare of anyone who’s been injured. That’s our primary concern,” Montgomery County police Capt. Tom Jordan said.

“Our secondary concern is to determine the facts and circumstances around the incident and charge anyone appropriately, if warranted,” Jordan added.

After the boy was picked up from school, Jordan said it was the hospitalized child’s parent who reported the incident to 911.

“The school will look into it, and they will determine whether proper protocol was followed,” Jordan said. “Our investigators will be looking at all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the mutual assault.”

The principal also wrote that the school will make counselors available for students who may be feeling emotional distress related to the issue.

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