Juvenile faces assault charge after Monday incident at Douglas High School

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – A juvenile has been charged with assault in Marshall County.

According to a press release from Assistant Chief Deputy Steve Guthrie, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office investigated an incident which occurred Monday, August 19 at Douglas High School.

Guthrie further stated the juvenile faces a charge of second-degree assault on an educator employed by the Marshall County Board of Education.

The case has been forwarded to Marshall County juvenile court.

Earlier in the week, several parents complained about a punishment from the Douglas High School football coach which involved students doing bear crawls on asphalt during their football period, which counts as physical education.

Pictures sent to WHNT News 19 showed what appeared to be blisters on some students’ hands

Per the Alabama State Department of Education physical education handbook, physical activity can’t be used as a punishment.

However, when asked about the handbook guidlines, state officials referred WHNT News 19 back to Marshall County Schools.

Superintendent Cindy Wigley issued the following statement:

“There’s nothing more important than the safety and integrity of our students.  You’ve heard me say that on more than one occasion.  It’s never been more true than today.   I want to address a situation at Douglas High School that occurred yesterday.  Due to rumors and talk, it has gotten out of control. It’s my job to help you understand what has happened.   A situation took place early yesterday morning. It involved a coach and some players.   It was brought to my attention and I have addressed the situation.   Unfortunately, since that time, an individual outside our school, specifically a parent, has become involved.  This has threatened the safety of our coach, players and other parents at the school.  I will not tolerate threats, harassment or physical abuse against any of our staff or students. While there were unintended consequences from the coach’s actions, students must also be held accountable for their actions.  Knowing all the facts about what has occurred, I want the community to know that I support our coach, who wants nothing but the best for our student athletes and the school he serves. I have asked sheriff’s deputies to help patrol the Douglas High School campus to keep our students, staff and parents safe. I will continue to do so. Please help me do all I can to keep our students in a safe and friendly environment.  Help me protect our students by helping manage rumors and talk that is unhealthy. Thank you.”

The Sheriff’s Office didn’t state whether the bear crawl punishment and the juvenile assault charge are related.

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