UPDATE: Director of Marion County Schools discusses Whitwell student assault

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MARION COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)– School administrators say 18 students were on a co-ed overnight trip out of state when the assault allegedly happened.

What started as a Whitwell Middle School trip to Space Camp in Alabama, ended in assault allegations.

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“On further investigation there was a situation where one particular student that started horseplay per se that went beyond horseplay,” said Mark Griffith, Director of Marion County Schools.

Officials say the situation happened Wednesday night and involved three sixth grade boys. According to administrators, there were two victims and one of them notified a camp counselor.

“And then a further investigation went on that there was a possibility of hitting in the buttocks area, something similar to that,” Griffith added.



All parents of students on the trip were notified on what was going on.

The parents of the boy accused of the assault, were on scene in Alabama most of the day.

“He has been expelled pending disciplinary authority. And the two victims, their parents opted for them to stay down there. But like I said, we’ve done welfare checks throughout the day for those two individuals and they seem to be doing fine,” Griffith noted.

Officials say nothing like this has ever happened at this school before.

Griffith wanted to reassure the public by stating, “We take great concern with this situation and try to put safe guards in place in the future to try and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The Huntsville Police Department is handling the criminal investigation. Child Protective Services in Alabama is also looking into this case.


MARION COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) –The Alabama Department of Protective Services and Huntsville Police are investigating an incident involving a Whitwell Middle School student.

What was termed “horseplay” turned into an assault, according to Mark Griffith, Marion County Director of Schools.

It happened Wednesday at the Space Camp in Huntsville.

The sixth grade boy was expelled and will appear at a hearing next week.

He is accused of an attack “under the clothing” of two other male classmates.

We’ll have more on that story tonight on News 12 at 11.