SCHOOL PATROL: Details are limited on recent Ooltewah High incidents
Two recent incidents at Ooltewah High School have caused concern among teachers, students, and parents, but very few details have been released.
In recent days, reports have circulated of a classroom attack at the school on January 16th.
When contacted on Tuesday, Hamilton County schools spokesman Tim Hensley said he had not heard of the incident.
A day later, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Matt Lea confirmed there had been a classroom assault, saying, "an incident did occur at Ooltewah High School when a slightly older juvenile male student entered a classroom and struck another juvenile male student several times. Upon the completed investigation, charges were filed in Juvenile Court for Simple Assault and Disorderly Conduct."
We asked the school system, "What actions have been taken by HCDE to punish the student who is charged with assault? Is the student back in school, and can current students be assured that the student can no longer attack other students?" Hensley replied, "These questions cannot be legally addressed by the school or school district according to federal FERPA laws."
FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects the privacy of student education records.
On Thursday, Channel 3 received a tip from a concerned citizen, saying a second incident occurred this week on campus involving drugs, police response, and possible criminal charges.
READ MORE | Assault leads to criminal investigation at Ooltewah High School
In response, Sheriff's Office spokesperson Lea said, "The SRO at Ooltewah High School did respond to a medical event involving a juvenile. The juvenile was transported to a local hospital. To my knowledge, no determination has been made as to what caused the medical event. A report was made but due to the fact it pertains to a juvenile and medical information (HIPPA), no further details are available."
Channel 3 has filed a freedom of information request with the Sheriff's Office regarding the January incident at Ooltewah. We have not yet received any additional information. Hensley says they work to improve school safety each day. One school board member we spoke to has been told the situation is being dealt with by administrators, but could not comment any further.