June 19, 2018
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Millinocket school board to hold expulsion hearing today

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

MILLINOCKET, Maine — The school board will hold an expulsion hearing Tuesday in response to a fight at Stearns High School on Jan. 22 in which a middle school student suffered a broken nose and eye damage, officials said.

The Millinocket School Committee’s revised agenda sets the meeting to start at 4 p.m. at Stearns with the “expulsion of students” portion of the meeting set to occur in executive session.

Several students were suspended for as many as 10 days for the fight at Stearns, school officials have said. A 13-year-old middle school girl suffered eye damage and a broken nose when a 16-year-old Stearns high school junior kicked her in the face, according to school officials. Middle and high school students attend classes in adjacent buildings at Stearns.

According to school officials and the girl’s mother, the girl was approached by another eighth-grader in a school hallway after the last class of the day. The two girls exchanged punches and were grappling in a classroom when the 16-year-old kicked the victim as the other girl held her bent over.

Two other students recorded the incident and later posted videos to Facebook, they said. The videos were pulled from the site, but officials have copies of them, the girl’s mother has said.

Police said Friday they have finished their investigation of the incident and await review from prosecutors.

School committee Chairman Kevin Gregory described the fight as “an isolated incident” that “in no way reflects the culture of Stearns Junior-Senior High School.”

“We work hard to provide a safe, nurturing educational environment and we have zero tolerance for that kind of conduct,” Gregory wrote.

Gregory wrote a letter to the AOS 66 school board of East Millinocket, Medway and Woodville in response to an AOS 66 school board member reposting the video on a friend’s Facebook page. Gregory said it was unprofessional and unethical of the board member to post the video.

It was unclear from the agenda whether school committee members would discuss Gregory’s letter or the AOS 66 board member’s actions.

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