Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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8th grader facing expulsion after hitting student with belt

NAPOLEON — An eighth-grader in Napoleon Area City Schools faces an expulsion hearing next week after he allegedly struck another eighth-grade boy with a belt in an incident captured on video and posted to a social media site.

Superintendent Steve Fogo said the suspect is suspended after an incident last week on school grounds in which the boy allegedly smacked another student with a belt four times.

A video of the incident was posted to the social media site Vine, which allows users to share short video clips. The site features other users posting similar clips of people striking others — sometimes by surprise — with a belt.

Mr. Fogo said the victim had some welts but did not go to the hospital. The victim’s parents contacted a school official about the incident.

Mr. Fogo said a school district review indicated the suspect’s behavior “is part of a larger pattern.”

Napoleon police investigated, and Chief Robert Weitzel said police will recommend an assault charge against the 14-year-old suspect in juvenile court.

The suspect’s father said he hasn’t seen the video. He described the belt as a canvas belt used to hold up football pants. He said his son “made a very bad decision,” and his “actions are inexcusable.

“He’s being punished severely at home,” he said.

Two other students, whom Mr. Fogo said were involved in filming the incident, were disciplined but don’t face expulsion.

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