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District's updated response to Spring Valley High School incident


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 31, 2015 RICHLAND TWO UPDATE COMMENTS ON INCIDENT COLUMBIA, S.C. — Following the Special Called Board Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, Board Chairman James Manning stated, “School officials and police officers both have the tough job of making on-the-spot judgment calls during the course of their daily duties. I respect the difficulty of these decisions, and I regret the fact that a bad decision can lead to bad outcomes for all involved. Both educators and police officers, however, must be held to a high standard when interacting with students and the public. With this in mind, I respect Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott’s decision to terminate the school resource officer.” Manning said, “As a community, we must continue the work that we have done to support each other through all of the recent tragedies in South Carolina and to remain united as we deal with this difficult situation. The U.S. Attorney’s office has requested that the District reserve public comment until after the joint independent investigations have been completed.” The district, however, continues to receive questions regarding student and personnel matters connected with the incident at Spring Valley High School on Monday, Oct. 26. Richland Two Chief Communications Officer Libby Roof said, “No suspension or expulsion recommendations or actions have been taken against the students in connection with the incident on Monday and they have been allowed to return to school. Criminal charges are not handled by the district. While the independent investigation is being conducted, a substitute teacher is teaching the class during which the incident occurred. Consistent with the district’s standard procedure when investigations are being conducted, the administrator is on paid leave.” Roof said, “The district has to balance student privacy laws and the request from the US Attorney’s office that the District withhold public comment until the independent investigation is completed with our desire to provide information to the public. The district remains committed to investigating the incident completely and thoroughly and continuing a dialogue with our community.”