Janesville student expelled for arranging fights

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011
— A Janesville high school student accused of arranging fights at school has been expelled for at least two years.

School officials are bound by law not to identify a student who was disciplined, but the expulsion appears to match details in a Janesville police report.

The report tells of a 15-year-old Parker High School student accused of arranging fights Sept. 29 and 30.

The incidents were revealed after a teacher happened upon a fight in a basement hallway near the entrance to the boys and girls locker rooms Sept. 30.

Students told school authorities the 15-year-old had arranged two fights the previous day and two on the 30th.

Barb Hilliker, director of special education, told The Gazette the Parker administration recently learned of “students who were fighting for the ‘sport of it’.”

Parker officials “have made a plan to eliminate these situations from the campus,” Hilliker said. “This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in the School District of Janesville, where we believe everyone has the right to learn and work in a safe environment.”

One student told of fighting the 15-year-old, something he agreed to because he didn’t want to be called names, according to the police report. He said the location was chosen because it had no cameras.

The student was told that the fight rules allowed him “to body punch only, no head shots,” the report states, but the student slipped and fell to the ground early in the fight, and the 15-year-old “jumped on him and just started punching him numerous times in the face and head.”

The student said he protected his head with his hands and yelled for the 15-year-old to stop, which he eventually did. Two other students witnessed the fight.

In other fights mentioned in the report, the fights were supposed to be “body boxing,” in which students would strike only the torso, but hits to the face were common.

The next day, the 15-year-old approached the same student and told him he must fight two others or the 15-year-old would beat him up or dunk his head in a toilet, according to the report.

The student said he didn’t want to fight anymore, but the 15-year-old said he either had to go through with it or fight the 15-year-old, so the student agreed to fight another student.

The student told police he was afraid of the 15-year-old “because (he) is so big and strong and such a good fighter.”

Another student told police “you either do what (the 15-year-old) tells you to do, or he fights you or has you jumped,” according to the report.

The first student had a friend accompany him to the second fight, and after it was over, the 15-year-old turned and punched the friend in the mouth. Another student who witnessed the fight later told police that the punch was for a previous fight for which the 15-year–old believed the friend had gotten another student suspended.

The friend’s “mouth was cut, and he had a large black and blue mark,” the first student told police.

Later the same day, the 15-year-old told the first student that he next had to fight his friend, or the 15-year-old would do to the student what he did to his friend.

The third fight had begun when the 15-year-old jumped in, punching the friend and pushing him to the floor. The teacher discovered the fight at this point, and the 15-year-old ran off. The teacher took the two remaining boys to the office, the report states.

The day before, the friend had been in a fight with another student, which the 15-year-old arranged. The friend told police that he punched this student in the head “and all of a sudden he saw (the student) spitting out all this blood,” so he stopped fighting and felt sorry for the student.

The injured student later told police he hadn’t wanted to fight. He said he received “six stitches put on the inside of his mouth where his tooth ripped through his lip,” the report states.

Later, the 15-year-old told the friend that if anybody asked, the student who bled had fallen on the stairs.

The 15-year-old was cuffed and taken to the juvenile detention center. He was suspended five days pending an expulsion hearing, according to the police report.

The other students received one or more juvenile court referrals for disorderly conduct. Three of them were suspended for five days pending pre-expulsion hearings.

A pre-expulsion hearing is part of a last-chance effort to turn students around before they are expelled.

The expelled student was accused of “arranging, promoting, encouraging and being on the lookout for a fight while on school grounds,” according to school district documents.

The student is expelled through his 21st birthday unless he gets mental health treatment and complies with conditions of probation, if he is placed on probation.

The earliest the student could return to school is Sept. 1, 2013.

This is the first expulsion of the school year.

Last updated: 7:00 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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