03/06/2012 06:51 AM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The last of three students who faced charges stemming from a Glacier High School assault case admitted guilt on the day he was scheduled to go to trial.
The case stemmed from an … Click to Read More and see additional updates
03/06/2012 06:51 AM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The last of three students who faced charges stemming from a Glacier High School assault case admitted guilt on the day he was scheduled to go to trial.
The case stemmed from an attack on teammates during a bus ride back from a football game in Missoula back in September. But, even though the cases against the three have been settled, a new lawsuit is brewing over the incident.
The third teenager settled on a Consent Decree in Flathead County Youth Court on Friday and agreed to six months probation. The student will have a 9 p.m. curfew on weekdays and a 10 p.m. curfew on weekends, is required to read a publication on bullying issued by the Department of Justice and could be placed on an electronic monitoring device as part of the settlement.
The other two accused students admitted their guilt earlier this year and were also placed on probation. But, one of the victims and his parents are still not satisfied. So, they filed a new lawsuit against the Kalispell School Board of Trustees, the Superintendent, the Glacier High School Principal, two Football Coaches and the bus driver.
The three Glacier High School students, who were charged and recently punished, were also named as defendants in the lawsuit. Court documents say that the plaintiffs claim negligent supervision, negligence, failure to enforce a bullying/harassment/intimidation policy, and negligent hiring/retention as reasons for filing the lawsuit.
Montana's News Station talked to Superintendent of Kalispell Public Schools Darlene Schottle about the latest suit and she said the situation was going quite smoothly up until now.
"I don't know whether most of the students at school realize that there's still another outside process that's going on. We really would like to have everyone feel safe at school and to be able to resume a situation with all of our freshman to feel comfortable."
She says everyone is still connecting and working with the school, which is the ultimate goal of the process that stemmed from the assault. No response has yet been filed by the defendants and until that happens, no court hearings are scheduled in the case.
02/01/2012 09:45 PM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- A tentative court date has been scheduled for two Glacier High School students who are accused of hazing several of their freshman football teammates during a bus ride home from a game last fall.
Documents say the two 15-year-old students brought the victims to the back of the bus and then held them down by lying on top of them.
The two students pleaded not guilty to charges of misdemeanor assault at the end of last year and now a trial date will be set for both of them sometime between March 5th and March 19th.
A third student involved in the incident pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault back in November.
01/19/2012 11:19 AM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The third Glacier High School student involved in a hazing incident at Glacier High School pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault last week and the judge left it up to the Kalispell School District to decide if he can return to GHS next year.
The student was expelled for taking part in the hazing incident and is finishing the remainder of his freshman year at an alternative school in Kalispell. His expulsion only lasts through the end of this school year, and then district officials will help decide if he is allowed to return.
Superintendent Darlene Schottle says if the student does come back to GHS next year, the school administration will have to work to make everybody feel comfortable and safe again. She says the process leading up to that decision could be an extensive one though.
"The victims and the students that are involved, the accused, the school system, and probation and parole, there are a lot of players that come together to try and make the best decision for all of these students. At this point, I don't know who will be part of that decision making process," Schottle said.
She added the school will take into consideration what families on both sides want, when making a decision.
12/05/2011 08:48 PM by Dax VanFossen (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- Another Glacier High School (GHS) student has pleaded not guilty to charges of misdemeanor assault in the wake of last Fall's hazing incident.
Court documents state that the 15-year-old boy denied the charges in Flathead Youth Court Friday. Those documents state the boy allegedly brought two of the victims to the back of the freshman football bus, and then held them down by lying on top of them.
This is the third student charged in the matter. Two other 15 year old boys have already appeared in court and one has already admitted to covering the victim's mouths and repeatedly punching them in the groin area. His sentencing is slated for January 6th.
Another 15-year-old teen denied the charges. His court date is set for January 18th.
11/23/2011 08:05 PM by Angela Marshall (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- A former Glacier High School freshman who has been charged as the main assailant for sexually assaulting fellow teammates has admitted that he did it. And, a third teen now faces charges in the hazing incident as well.
The 15-year-old student appeared in Flathead County Youth Court with his attorney on Wednesday to discuss curfew changes.
Deputy County Attorney Lori Adams confirmed for Montana's News Station that the teen acknowledged his role in the incident that happened while on a football bus ride back in September.
Defendants can not enter a plea of guilt for a crime in Youth Court, they must admit or not admit to the charge. The freshman will make his next court appearance in January.
The student is attending classes at an alternative high school and while his curfew still stands, the judge says the teen will be allowed to play games locally and travel with the team for away games.
Adams also confirmed another 15-year-old has been charged with misdemeanor assault for his role in the bus incident.
11/17/2011 04:59 PM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The lawsuit against a 15-year-old boy who is accused of hazing several of his football freshmen teammates back in September has been dismissed.
The Glacier High School (GHS) freshman and another 15-year-old are charged with misdemeanor assault for their involvement in the incident.
Parents of the victims filed a lawsuit to keep the boy from returning to GHS on October 31st, but the student began classes at an alternative school instead. So, the lawsuit was then dropped Wednesday.
Kalispell Schools Superintendent Darlene Schottle says the district decided that the student will continue classes at that alternative school for the rest of the year.
11/15/2011 11:36 AM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The parents of the Glacier High School students who were allegedly assaulted on a football bus ride back in September were supposed to appear in court on Monday regarding a lawsuit against the high school.
The suit was filed at the end of October because parents of the assaulted students don't want the suspect to return back to school. But Tuesday's hearing over the lawsuit was postponed until November 22nd.
The student who is accused of assaulting the others is now attending classes at an alternative school.
11/10/2011 05:31 PM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The two Glacier High School students who are accused of assaulting fellow freshman football players denied the charges brought forth against them in Flathead District Youth Court Thursday.
Both of the underage suspects accused of assault will now go to trial in the spring and the judge ordered that in the meantime, one of the accused be under house arrest. The two freshmen reportedly grabbed the legs of their fellow teammates and drug them to the back of the bus where they were assaulted back in September.
One of the accused Glacier High School students was placed on a 6 p.m. curfew, will remain on house arrest until 7:30 a.m. when he leaves for school, and will stay at an alternative school until November 14th. If he breaks those conditions he could face jail time in the Flathead County Youth Detention Center.
The other accused Glacier High School student did not have any restrictions placed on him but both of them will go to trial in early March.
A hearing is set for November 14th where a judge will hear details on a lawsuit the victims' parents brought forth to keep the student from attending Glacier High School for the remainder of the school year.
11/02/2011 10:16 AM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- A student who's been charged with assaulting several of his freshman teammates has not returned to Glacier High School, even though his expulsion ended. Reporter Laura Wilson spoke with the district's superintendent to find out why this decision may just be a temporary one.
The Kalispell School Board voted last month to expel 15-year-old Logan Jones through the end of October for assaulting three of his fellow students during a bus ride back from Missoula. The Glacier High School student did return to school this week, but not to Glacier High School.
"We just decided after working with all of the families that were involved, including the student and his parents, that right now wasn't the best time to do the educational program and GHS, so we are providing that at an alternative setting for a while," Superintendent Darlene Schottle explained.
The parents of three of the victims had requested a temporary restraining order against Jones last week in order to keep him out of school for longer than his expulsion period, but that request was denied by Judge David Ortley.
But the parents of all the students involved in the incident did succeed in reaching a temporary agreement, outside of the courtroom.
"We've had a fair amount of media coverage on this. And I don't think that everyone always understands the impact that can have. We just felt in the best interest of both the victims and the students that had been accused in this case, that the easiest setting to start back to school was someplace other than GHS," Schottle told us during a Tuesday interview.
Jones will stay at an alternative school at least until his November 14th court hearing to determine whether a preliminary injunction will be issued. Schottle says that the district and Jones's family will revisit the situation after the outcome of the legal proceedings.
Schottle added that whether or not Jones returns to GHS, the district is focusing on making sure students feel they are entering a positive environment when they come to school each day.
"The ideal outcome is that we will be able to get everyone back to a place that they feel that the school is a safe environment for everyone involved and that kids are reconnected to school and are able to move forward. And I understand that the healing process takes a while".
All of the other students involved in the hazing incident have since returned to Glacier High School.
10/28/2011 12:27 PM by Dax VanFossen (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- Parents of the alleged Glacier High School victims in a school bus assault have filed a lawsuit in Flathead District Court. Whitefish attorney Sean Frampton filed the suit on Wednesday which seeks to block one of the students accused of the actual assault from returning to school.
The petition was filed on behalf of parents of three of the alleged victims. The court papers state "Petitioners seek to enforce their sons constitutional rights to a quality education. To include an education free from interruption, disruption or distraction".
Glacier High School Board officials chose not to expel the students, earlier this month, meaning they would return to school. The injunction filed asks that one of the students not be allowed to return for the remainder of the year. It also asks for compensation for attorney's fee's and any other relief the court may deem necessary.
Criminal charges have already been filed by the Flathead County Attorney's Office. Click here to read the court documents (pdf.).
10/24/2011 05:04 PM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- Two Glacier High School freshman have been formally charged with assault by Flathead County prosecutors.
The 15-year-old students are facing misdemeanor charges after the students allegedly assaulted fellow classmates on a football bus ride in September.
An investigation conducted by the Kalispell Police Department showed that there were a total of six students involved in the hazing incident.
One of the students facing charges will be suspended until October 31st. He will be allowed to return to school at the beginning of the second quarter, under a school-mandated behavioral plan.
10/13/2011 09:56 AM by Katy Harris (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The Kalispell School Board decided Tuesday night to allow a Glacier High School student, who faced expulsion for his involvement in a hazing incident last month, to return to school at the end of October.
The student faced expulsion for allegedly assaulting several of his football teammates during a bus ride back from a football game in Missoula. Now, some of those victims' parents are now worried about how the decision will affect their kids.
It took three hours of deliberating and listening to testimony before the Kalispell School Board reached a decision during its closed expulsion hearing. They voted to extend the student's suspension beyond twenty days, which results in an automatic expulsion, but only through the end of the school's first quarter.
"The board made the determination that they felt that he could be returned to school safely with the behavior plan at the mid-semester," Kalispell Schools Superintendent Darlene Schottle explained.
That decision was not received well by some of the victims' parents who spoke during Tuesday night's hearing.
"I think it's unjust that the victims are going to stay victims now indefinitely because of this child," Mary Cochran, a parent of one of the victims told us.
"It's an intimidation factor for these kids. When he does come back in here, the victims are going to stay that way. They're going to be afraid of what happens later on," Allen Cochran added.
School administrators are working on putting together a behavior plan for the student according to Schottle.
"It sets a very clear expectation. It has a regular check-in time and responsibility to an adult at the school site- that they need to work with. And it just clarifies what their expectations are and sets a little bit closer accountability level for those particular students," Schottle said.
But several of the victims' parents worry the student's behavioral program won't protect their own kids from being bullied again.
"They didn't give any details as to what the behavior program is going to be. But I think it's something to where he should have to finish out at least the rest of the school year somewhere else. You shouldn't have to put these kids through this again. They shouldn't have to be worried about this on a day to day basis," Allen Cochran said.
Kalispell School District officials say there will be clear expectations and guidelines set in place for the Glacier High School student when he comes back to school. He will be allowed to return at the beginning of second semester on October 31st.
10/12/2011 12:03 AM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The Kalispell School Board has decided to let a Glacier High School student who's accused of assaulting several other students on a team bus last month, return to school at the end of October.
A total of six students were suspended after an investigation revealed they were involved in a hazing incident while on a bus ride home from a football game. Two of the students were placed on extended suspension.
The board held a formal hearing on Tuesday night to decide whether or not one of those students should be expelled and more than a dozen witnesses with information testified during it.
The board voted to keep the student suspended from school for the rest of the 1st quarter. An extended suspension is considered an expulsion after the student is out of school for twenty days or more. The student has been on suspension since September 12th.
However, the student's expulsion will only last through the end of the school's first quarter and then he will be allowed to return to school at the beginning of the second quarter, under a school-mandated behavioral plan.
One of the victims' parents told us they are concerned what will happen when the student returns to school.
"He should have to finish out at least the rest of this school year somewhere else," Allen Anderson commented. "He shouldn't have to put these kids through it again. They shouldn't have to be worried about this one a regular basis."
"I think it's unjust that the victims are going to stay victims now because of this child," added the victim's mom, Mary Cochran.
Glacier High School's first quarter ends on October 28th. The school still has to set up a behavior plan with the student before allowing him to return on October 31st.
10/11/2011 09:47 AM by Angela Marshall (KPAX News)
KALISPELL- A Glacier High School freshman football player goes before the school board Tuesday night to find out if he will be expelled from school for good.
A total of six students were suspended after an investigation revealed they were involved in a hazing incident while on a bus ride home from a football game last month. But two of the students were placed on extended suspension.
Kalispell Schools Superintendent Darlene Schottle then decided to keep one of the students on extended suspension, which will result in an expulsion hearing in front of the Kalispell School Board.
10/06/2011 06:37 AM by KAJ News Staff
KALISPELL- A Glacier High School freshman will face expulsion for his involvement in a hazing incident on a bus ride home from a football game last month.
A total of six students were suspended during the investigation although only two of them went on extended suspension.
Kalispell Schools Superintendent Darlene Schottle decided to keep one of the students on extended suspension, which will result in an expulsion hearing in front of the school board.
The other student returned to school after a 17-day suspension and Schottle says the transition for the returning student will be difficult- both academically and socially.
"In a situation like this, it's not easy on any of the young people that are involved in this setting. So, it takes mentoring. It takes watching the students closely, and finding some situations where you can have guided opportunities for them," Schottle explained.
The student facing expulsion will learn his fate next week when he meets with the Kalispell School Board.
09/29/2011 04:09 PM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The county attorney's office plans to sit down next week and review the Kalispell Police Department's report on the Glacier incident, and evaluate the case.
Student Resource Officer Jason Parce concluded his investigation Wednesday, in which time Parce decided to formally charge two students.
One of the juveniles will face sexual assault charges and the other is charged with accountability to sexual assault.
Parce says he hopes this investigation will show students what kind of consequences can come from bullying--however "harmless" the student thinks it is.
"You never know how the other person is going to feel. And that essentially is makes it criminal or not criminal, is how this other person accepts the behavior--especially when it crosses the line."
Parce also hopes this case will encourage students to stand up for themselves when they are being bullied or hazed.
09/29/2011 02:40 PM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The two Glacier High School freshmen who are facing charges for an alleged sexual assault on a school bus remain suspended from school.
All six students accused of sexually assaulting some of their teammates were suspended during the formal investigation and four of them returned to school this week.
Kalispell Schools Superintendent Darlene Schottle is still going through the Kalispell Police Department's investigation to determine how long the students will be suspended.
The district is working to make sure the individuals involved in the incident, as well as other Glacier students, feel comfortable and safe at school.
"It doesn't just impact the students that were directly involved. Obviously they have the most significant impact. In a high school, there's always "talking." It has to be addressed as a general issue, pro-actively, in what should you be doing, and how should you behave," Schottle said.
If Schottle decides to extend the students' suspension past 21 days, they will meet with the Kalispell school board for an expulsion hearing.
09/27/2011 05:02 PM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The Kalispell Police Department is expected to finish its criminal investigation of six Glacier freshmen accused of assaulting their fellow students, by Wednesday. The students are accused of hazing some of their football teammates on a bus ride back from Missoula about two weeks ago.
The investigation was expected to conclude last Friday but School Resource Officer Jason Parce says new information had come in last minute, which required him to interview more people and extend the investigation.
Several of the victims' parents have already indicated they plan to press charges against the students responsible for the incident.
09/23/2011 07:48 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
KALISPELL- The parents of four Glacier high school freshman who say they were assaulted by the peers on a bus, have filed temporary protection orders against the four students accused of doing it.
Three of those were issued Friday after the students were accused of "hazing" and "bullying" some of their fellow freshman football teammates, on a bus ride back from Missoula.
School Resource Officer Jason Parce says he is still investigating to see if six students will face criminal charges.
The investigation was set to wrap up this week, but authorities say it will now continue into next week.
09/21/2011 07:37 AM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- A police investigation is continuing to determine if six freshman will face criminal charges after several students were allegedly assaulted and as the Kalispell Police Department looks further into the matter, Glacier High School faculty are looking to move the school past the incident.
Authorities are still looking into just what happened on a bus last week between a group of Glacier High School freshmen who were on their way back from a football game in Missoula.
The district has classified the incident as bullying and harassment and if charges are formally pressed, the incident could be classified as something even more serious.
"The allegations that have been made by the parents and the victims, are of sexual assault. Those are allegations at this point. I'm completing an investigation right now," Glacier High School Resource Officer Jason Parce explained.
District officials turned their investigation over to the Kalispell Police Department last Friday, but not before enforcing its own punishment upon the alleged perpetrators.
"One of those consequences for all of them, is that they will not be re-instated on the freshman football team. Also, there is a variety of consequences that do include suspension," Kalispell Schools Superintendent Darlene Schottle told us.
Authorities are continuing to interview victims and their families to find out the severity of the incident, and how many people were actually bullied during it.
"There's been eight individuals that have been identified as possibly being victimized. There have been three confirmed at this point, and all three of them are wishing to pursue some sort of criminal charge," Parce said.
Now that the investigation is officially in the hands of KPD, district officials hope students can start feeling a sense of normalcy and safety at Glacier High School again.
"The staff is working with individual students and our freshmen academy, as well as our football coaches, to make sure we minimize the impact on the students that were involved in this incident. And yet, keep it in perspective so that we can move forward," Schottle said in a Tuesday interview.
There are no criminal charges in the case as of yet and we won't know until the end of the investigation whether any students are being charged. That investigation is expected to conclude at the end of the week.
09/20/2011 04:55 PM by Dax VanFossen (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- An hazing incident during Glacier football trip has the community talking. A police investigation is now underway to determine if 6 freshman will face criminal charges after several students were allegedly assaulted.
School District 5 superintendent Darlene Schottle says they are still figuring out the details.
"We don't fully know yet exactly what took place on that bus filled with Glacier High freshman football players. But what we do know is that an incident resulted in the suspension of several of those players. And those players have also been removed from the Glacier High freshman football team."
Allegations of criminal assault are being thrown around in the Kalispell community, and the Kalispell Police Department is currently conducting an investigation, which could lead to criminal charges. Superintendent Schottle says their priority is protecting the students.
"You know obviously at this point, what we're trying to do is minimize the impact of the situation on the students that were victims in this situation. And in order to do that, there has obviously been consequences for the young men that were involved. And one of those consequences for all of them, is that they will not be re-instated on the freshman football team."
Kalispell Police officer Jason Parce who is the lead investigator, confirmed that their office has been contacted by family members of the alleged victims, and they are interviewing those involved to determine if criminal charges will be filed. Superintendent Schottle says those six players are on suspension and could face additional punishment, but that administrators are working to get Glacier back to normal.
"What we are really working on at this point is to try and bring back some normalcy and a feeling of safety to Glacier High School's students that are involved in these programs to make sure we minimize the impact on the students that were involved in this incident."
09/16/2011 09:13 PM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- The Kalispell Police Department is taking over a criminal investigation of six Glacier High School football players who are accused of assaulting several of their teammates.
The Kalispell School District spent all week investigating the incident which happened Monday night on the way back from an away game.
Six freshman football players are accused of "bullying" and harassing" some of their teammates.
Those players were kicked off of the team and suspended.
School Resource Officer Jason Parce says two sets of the victims' parents met with police and plan to press formal charges against those involved.
09/15/2011 06:40 AM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- A group of six Glacier High School football players will not be allowed to go to school while authorities investigate a bullying incident that took place after an away game earlier this week.
The incident happened during a bus ride back from Missoula late Monday night with Kalispell Schools Superintendent Darlene Schottle saying that six freshman football players bullied and harassed by about six of their teammates.
The incident was investigated Tuesday and on Wednesday and all of the students involved in the "bullying situation" were suspended.
One of the freshman coaches says he was unaware what was going on, but felt accountable for the incident and offered his resignation.
Schottle says she is unsure whether the victims will press charges against the students.