September fight injured 5 Natchez High School employees

Published 1:11 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

NATCHEZ — A Natchez-Adams School District report released Tuesday showed 13 employee injuries between September and Decemebr 2017, five of which occurred during a single student fight at Natchez High School.The quarterly safety report records on-campus inuries to district employees.

The report recorded seven slips, trips or falls, three back injuries, one sprain, one burn and one pulled muscle.

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Along with the eight that occurred at Natchez High School, four more happened on Frazier Elementary’s campus and one at McLaurin Elementary.

Though the overall number of incidents is similar to that of the same quarter in 2016, Supervisor of Security and Safety Ray Brown said the mix of injuries is not normally so varied.

“One of the reasons Natchez High School’s numbers are so high this time is because of one incident,” Brown said.

Little information about this incident, which involved a fight on school property on Sept. 8, has been made available in the months since it happened.

In the safety corrective action reports released Tuesday, however, it was shown that five school employees were injured in the fight.

Accident reports from that incident indicate an athletic director, three assistant principals and a security officer were sent to a nearby hospital with injuries.

The athletic director reported injuries to his right ankle and elbow. One assistant principal reported injuries to their right thumb, shoulder and left arm.

The security officer was injured in the lower back and hip.

A second assistant principal reported injuries to their lower back and the third assistant principal reported injuries to their lower back, kidney and intestines.

In each of the accident reports, the unsafe condition that contributed to the accident is listed as a “major group fight.”

Under the question of corrective action, each employee was reportedly “advised to be more safety conscious when attempting to break up a group fight” and to ensure that security and other administrators are called to the scene.

A second fight at Frazier caused injury to one security officer who was escorting a student to in-school suspension.

The accident reports says as the officer tried to break up a fight between two students, one student pushed the officer to the ground repeatedly.

This employee, too, was advised to be more safety conscious.

“The employee was advised to be more attentive of her surroundings while attempting to break up fights,” the report read.

Superintendent Fred Butcher said it is concerning that six of the 13 injuries happened as a result of student fights.

The best resonse to such violence, he said, is strong reactions from the district.

Each student involved in the fights, Butcher said, was expelled for at minimum one year.

In addition to the expulsions, Butcher said the district has done several anti-bullying workshops.

“A lot of this stuff, it bleeds over from what happened in the community over the weekend,” Butcher said. “We can’t control that. But we can respond to it.”

Despite the high number of reports from fights, Brown said he actually sees a decrease in overall reports compared to last spring’s quarter.

“It’s all about the time of year,” he said.

Other reports were primarily caused by an employee tripping or falling. The majority of the incidents happened outside of the classroom.