GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A group of eight people, including an adult, stormed a classroom and attacked a 14-year-old girl at Southern Guilford High School, according to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
At about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, deputies say six students, an 18-year-old and a 37-year-old parent went into a classroom at SGHS and attacked a student.
“To think that they would bring that type of activity to a school was very disturbing,” said Capt. Brain Hall, the SRO captain for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. “Instead of trying to help talk them down out of this we found ourselves with a parent who actually participated in the assault.”
Three of the students attend SGHS. The other three go to different schools in the county.
Investigators believe the attack was connected to an earlier fight that happened at a bus stop on Monday. A 16-year-old girl who attends SGHS may have led the fight, according to Hall.
“This was clearly a targeted attack on one student, not a random act of violence,” he said.
Students began to assemble a group of friends, aging between 16 and 18, with a plan for the 16-year-old girl to let the group into the school, deputies say.
Two other students at SGHS walked out of the locked door, giving the group a chance to get inside.
“Two unrelated students basically walked out the front door and as it was closing this group of friends were able to grab the door and they instantly linked up,” he said. “It was one of those vulnerabilities that they were able to exploit that I don’t think you could’ve handled with additional SROs, or cameras, or locks or anything like that.”
The 16-year-old girl allegedly led the group up to an upstairs classroom.
“They just converged upon her and she was struck several times,” Hall said. “She had minor injuries basically bruises and scrapes to the face.”
Several teachers and a school resource officer responded but did not have time to prevent the attack.
“I think this reinforced the need to have officers to have officers in the school,” he said.
The group ran away from the classroom, went down the stairs and made it out to the parking lot where they were stopped by the school resource officer and administration.
SGHS parents told FOX8 they did not find out about the attack until a schoolwide message was sent out from Principal Brian Muller more than 24 hours after the incident.
“It’s very infuriating and frustrating as a parent that I cannot even trust that my son is safe at school,” said Misty Reagan, whose son attends SGHS. “I don’t want to be the recipient of a phone call one day whose child suffered being attacked or being shot. I don’t want that to happen to anybody else either.”
Hall told FOX8 there needs to be a shift in school culture including tougher consequences for students who start violence.
“We have to get to a point where we have no tolerance for that sort of activity,” he said. “It’s preached to them that if you engage in this sort of conduct you will not have the right to come to this school and continue to disrupt everybody’s education.”
No one was arrested on Tuesday, but deputies expect charges on Thursday.
The sheriff’s office is working to get warrants on charges of misdemeanor assault, inciting a riot and first-degree trespassing for the people who do not attend the school. The six juveniles will be charged on a juvenile petition.
A Guilford County Schools spokesperson told FOX8 the students involved will face disciplinary actions. The school district is reviewing the incident and safety protocols.