The Inside Story: Richmond County BOE responds after bullies send teen to ER

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email
Carol Rountree

Dr. Carol Rountree, director of Student Services for Richmond County schools, spoke out about a fight that sent a seventh grader to the ER. (WRDW-TV / May 9, 2012)

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, May 9, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- We first showed you the disturbing video of a local teen being attacked at school. After weeks of silence, the Richmond County Board of Education is officially responding, and they say they have some homework to do.

Who can forget the disturbing fight at Morgan Road Middle School? It sent a seventh grader to the hospital and left two girls facing assault charges.

"It was very violent. I saw that video," said Dr. Carol Rountree, executive director of Student Services. "However, if you think back three years ago, that video would not have circulated as quickly as it did."

Rountree worries cellphone videos are highlighting students in a negative light after not just the fight at Morgan Road, but after another brawl at Richmond Academy was caught on video.

"We are concerned and we are going to address them," she said. "But we do need to look at the statistics to see if those have changed over time."

That is quite different from the initial response we got from board member Barbara Pulliam who told News 12 she couldn't comment because she had a fish fry.

"It was a benefit fish fry for students," Pulliam said.

Pulliam is now facing new heat as she learns the latest redistricting lines wipe her off the map completely.

"How do I feel about that?" questioned Pulliam. "I'm not pleased."

The school system has bigger fish to fry as they try and get a hold on bullying. They plan to conduct a bullying review.

"Absolutely," Rountree said. "We want to see if it is greater than it has been at any particular time, but we continue to address it."

The redistricting battle will now be decided by a federal court. The Court will hold a hearing on redistricting on May 16 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 2 of the United States Courthouse at 600 James Brown Boulevard. Click here to read more about the redistricting.

Meanwhile, Rountree says the bullying review will take time. She wants to look at the numbers for the entire year.


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