A boy has been charged with assault following a beating Wednesday at Prestonsburg High School, according to the city police department.
Video and photos of the beating circulated on social media, causing an uproar. A student is shown repeatedly hitting another student in the high school stairwell.
Law enforcement was notified and promptly responded, according to a statement from Floyd County Schools Superintendent Steve Trimble.
“The administration of Prestonsburg High School in concert with the Floyd County Schools District Central Office is handling the situation according to school district police,” Trimble said before the arrest. “A full and complete investigation will occur and those involved will be held accountable according to local policy and KY State Law.
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“Let me be clear, behavior such as this will not be tolerated in the Floyd County School System,” Trimble continued. “The safety of all students is and will remain our utmost priority.”
The incident remains under investigation. The juvenile arrested has been taken to the Breathitt County Juvenile Detention Center, Prestonsburg police said. Because of his age, his name hasn’t been released.
The student who was beaten is a freshman at the high school, according to multiple social media posts.
Some students were upset that no one stepped in to help the boy who was targeted.
Prestonsburg senior Madison Rainey said she is ashamed to be a part of the high school after seeing the video.
“Bullying is real and I am horrified of not only the kid assaulting someone, but also of the fact that NO ONE stepped in,” she said on Facebook. “I cannot believe that someone stood there and videoed that, and people walked by without even stepping in.”
(Editor’s note: The Herald-Leader is purposely not linking to or including the video.)
Many other people said they were upset about bullying at the school. Senior, Ashlea Little, called the incident unbelievable and unacceptable.
Another student, Billy Joe Patton, defended the high school’s administration and faculty. He said it is not their fault that the fight happened.
“I am confident had a faculty or staff member been present at any point doing the attack there would have been intervention,” he said. “We have excellent caring staff at Prestonsburg High School who genuinely want to see the students succeed.”