Two EHS students charged with assault

ELLSWORTH — Two students involved in an altercation at Ellsworth High School last week have each been charged with Class D assault. As juveniles, the names of the students have not been released by police. A video of the incident circulated widely on social media.

Both students were suspended, the male student for 10 days and the female student for five days, according to Alison Leavitt, the mother of the sophomore girl.

The alleged assaults occurred in the high school cafeteria on Jan. 27 during a student lunch period. A video Leavitt posted to Facebook shows the girl throwing liquid from a cup into the lap of the seated male student and then turning around and walking away. The boy then immediately jumps up and punches her from behind twice in her head. Her head bounces against the cafeteria wall. The video shows the male student standing at least 1 foot taller and much broader than the female student.

School Resource Officer Shawn Merchant was on duty at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School when the assaults occurred at the high school, City Manager and Police Chief Glenn Moshier said.

“He was notified after the fact and has since completed a full investigation,” Moshier told The American. “After consulting with the District Attorney’s Office, both juveniles involved have been charged with assault.”

Leavitt said her daughter came home with a lump on her head, and told her that after the incident, teachers sent her to class. Her daughter went to the school nurse two hours after the incident at her friends’ urging. The liquid in the cup, Leavitt said, was iced coffee.

The school did not notify Leavitt of the incident, she said. Rather she learned from friends after the video went locally viral. In Leavitt’s Facebook post after she shared the video on her own Facebook page, she said she shared it to warn other parents of teenage daughters.

According to school policies, for violent and threatening behavior in school, “the Superintendent may develop procedures for conflict resolution that may be accomplished through peer mediation, counseling, parent involvement, services of community agencies, or other activities suitable to the school unit” (Policy JK Student Discipline).

And additionally, “The Board authorizes the Superintendent to request an immediate psychological evaluation of a student who engages in conduct prohibited by this policy when, in his/her opinion, such an evaluation will assist in assessing the risk the student poses to school safety if the student were to remain in school” (Policy JICIA Weapons, Violence and School Safety).

The American has reached out to District Attorney Matt Foster and to interim School Superintendent Katrina Kane for comment but did not hear back by press time.

Anne Berleant

Anne Berleant

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Anne Berleant covers news and features in Ellsworth, Mariaville, Otis, Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn. When not reporting, find her hiking local trails, reading or watching professional tennis. Email her at [email protected]

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