Student in school video fight to face hearing
Father says incident spurred by racist remarks
By MICHAEL ERB
POSTED: December 24, 2009
PARKERSBURG - A hearing has been scheduled for a Parkersburg South High School girl accused of assaulting another student while being videotaped in a school hallway
The suspected assailant's father, however, says his daughter was the victim of racial slurs and harassment, a situation school administrators did nothing to allay.
Kenny Tullius said his daughter had been repeatedly harassed and called names prior to the incident. Tullius is half black and said his daughter and the girl who was assaulted had been arguing over a boyfriend.
Tullius said his daughter had gone to administrators and a school counselor over the problems between her and the other girl, but no action was taken.
"She decided to deal with it," Tullius said.
His daughter initially was given three days suspension, which was later changed to seven days. Now administrators are seeking to expel the girl, Tullius said.
Rick Oclott, president of the Wood County Board of Education, said a special meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 4 and a closed-door hearing will be held at that time.
"I am aware of the video. I have seen the video," he said. "All of the board members are aware of the incident."
An 18-second video, shot by Tullius' stepdaughter, shows Tullius' daughter walking up to a girl and repeatedly punching her, pulling her hair and knocking her to the floor where she is punched several times more.
Tullius said he repeatedly has asked the administrators to address the racist statements and harassment, but has been ignored.
"I said it was a case of racism," he said. "They are not wanting to deal with the racism part."
Tullius also said administrators made copies of files held on his stepdaughter's cell phone without permission, another issue he said the administration refuses to address.
"I don't see how that is legal," he said.
Administrators at Parkersburg South High School and Wood County Schools have declined to comment, citing student privacy and an ongoing investigation.