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Student found ‘in rage’ assaults teachers, deputies in Rowan elementary school

The Rowan Sheriff's Office has been called at least 39 times since August 12 to Hanford-Dole...
The Rowan Sheriff's Office has been called at least 39 times since August 12 to Hanford-Dole Elementary School.(David Whisenant-WBTV)
Updated: Oct. 30, 2019 at 10:24 AM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - On Tuesday WBTV reported a story about the large number of calls made from Hanford-Dole Elementary School on Choate Road to request help from deputies with the Rowan Sheriff’s Office.

Since August, there have been at least 39 calls made, the majority of which involved disturbances. Many of the calls involved assaults that were in progress when the call was made.

Many of the calls also involve students from what is called the Restorative program. It is a K-3rd grade program at Hanford-Dole that serves students who have had some type of issue at other elementary schools in the Rowan-Salisbury system.

Students in the program are largely separated from other students, and spend time in a “pod” on the school campus, according to officials.

On Tuesday morning deputies were again called to the school. On Wednesday, WBTV obtained a copy of the report describing what the deputy found when he responded. The name of the student is not being published, but deputies say it was an 8-year-old boy.

The deputy says that when he arrived he was met by a staff member who told him that she, “and countless other members of her staff had been assaulted by the same student.”

The student was described as “being in a rage.” The deputy saw the student “scratch and open hand slap (another deputy) multiple times during the struggle.”

The two deputies managed to get the student into the “cool down room,” where there is no furniture and plywood covers the walls.

When the deputy went into the room, the student “began assaulting me by scratching, punching, kicking, and attempting to bite.”

At this point, Rowan County Emergency Services arrived to take the child to the hospital for a mental evaluation. The deputy noted that when the child’s mother was contacted, “she was verbally abusive to school staff and blamed them for her son’s behavior.”

The deputy contacted Rowan County Juvenile Intake but was told “they would have nothing to do with a child that young, regardless of the situation.”

A check of reports shows that deputies have been called to similar cases at Hanford-Dole involving this same student four times since August 27, and in each of those incidents, staff members and/or deputies were assaulted in some way.

Rowan-Salisbury School Board Chairman Josh Wagner told WBTV that the school system is working to find a solution for the ongoing issues happening at Hanford-Dole.

“RSSS administration is working closely with school staff and the board to find a solution that helps and protects both staff and students,” said Wagner. “The Restorative program is necessary, but also difficult. We have students that are in need of a high level of assistance and support. Its essential that we find a way to provide that support without allowing staff to be put in these types of situations.”

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