UPDATE: 1 injured, 1 arrested after fight at school

ORIGINAL REPORT, 7:18 PM WEDNESDAY: Multiple Chief Sealth International High School parents forwarded us this letter emailed tonight by CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer:

Dear Chief Sealth Families,

I would like to let you know of an incident which occurred at school yesterday around lunch. It involved a small group of girls but was witnessed by many scholars and may cause them to feel unsafe at school. I want to share information regarding the incident in case your young people have questions.

The situation started out as a disagreement between scholars outside of the school and spilled into school resulting in a physical fight that eventually included several non-students. Because of the escalating confrontation,. the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and medics were called, and families notified. One student was hurt badly enough to necessitate on-site medical attention.. One scholar was arrested and the student has been disciplined consistent with district procedures.

Please be assured that the safety and security of our scholars is a top priority at Chief Sealth International High School. This incident, although infrequent, emphasizes the need of good communication between school and home. Our staff continues to discuss personal safety and conflict resolution strategies as well as district rules and state laws with our scholars.

Most importantly, I wanted to let families know about these conversations and ask families to help all our students understand the importance of sharing critical safety information immediately with adults at school. The more we know, the better we can work to address it appropriately and proactively.

Thank you for your continued support.

ADDED THURSDAY, 1:30 PM: We requested and obtained the police-report narrative from SPD. Here’s what police wrote:

Ün 03-12-2019 at about 1127 hours I was working uniformed patrol within the City of Seattle as 2-Frank-01. I was dispatched to 2600 SW Thistle St (Chief Sealth High School) to investigate an assault.

The remarks on the call stated, “ADMIN REQ SPD FOR BROKEN UP PHYS FIGHT BETWEEN 2 STUDENTS AND TWO PARENTS, ALL PARTIES SEPARATED. MEDICS DECLINED, NO WPNS.” Upon arrival, I spoke with School Resource Officer Vargas, Jose A (#8457) who stated that an assault had occurred inside of the school. During the assault, (victim) was struck in the head with a wrench. (Suspect) was identified as the suspect who struck (victim) with a wrench. (Victim) was being attended to by SFD Engine 11. SFD’s initial assessment of (victim) revealed a laceration about 1 inch in length above her right eyebrow. This laceration would require stitches. There was swelling and bruising to the side of as head. He made complaints of pain to her head and reported feeling dizzy.

(Redacted) stated the following: There was supposed to be a mutual fight between her and (redacted). However, a physical fight began between her and another student named (redacted) occurred in the school hallway.

(Redacted) stated that she hit (redacted) first who then hit her back. As the two were fighting, (redacted) was struck in the head several times from someone behind her. She identified the individual who struck her in the head as (redacted). (Victim) was transported to HMC.

Officer Eby (#8498) took photos of injuries. He noted that the wounds on the side of (victim’s) head were actively bleeding. The photos were uploaded to DEMS.

Officer Vargas viewed cell phone footage of the assault. He stated the following: In the cell phone video, he witnessed (redacted) physically fighting with a student. (Redacted) appears in the video and is standing behind (redacted) … (Redacted) is seen clutching a wrench in her hand and approaches from behind. (Redacted) strikes (redacted) in head with the wrench in 3 consecutive strikes.

I spoke with (redacted) who stated the following: She has had rising tension with (redacted) which was leading up to a physical altercation over the past several weeks. She believed that (redacted) was going to attack her so she began carrying a wrench on her person as protection. (Redacted) stated that she used a wrench to strike in several times. The wrench was in her bag with her other personal belongings. She does not know where or who has her bag.

(Redacted) was placed into custody and read her Miranda Rights with the additional Juvenile Warning at 1206 hours. She was arrested for Assault in the Second Degree (RCW 9A.36.021).

The redactions – where police block out names before releasing a report – make it difficult to tell whether more than two people were quoted, aside from the very start, where suspect and victim (the injured girl) are clearly labeled. SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson adds, in response to our request for information: “The victim is a 14-year-old girl, the suspect is a 15-year-old girl. Suspect was arrested and booked into YSC for felony assault. Precinct detectives are doing the follow-up.” (YSC is the juvenile-detention center.)

39 Replies to "UPDATE: 1 injured, 1 arrested after fight at school"

  • just wondering March 13, 2019 (7:58 pm)

    What is the difference between a “scholar” and a “student”?

    • WSB March 13, 2019 (8:09 pm)

      Some schools prefer to use the former term rather than the latter.

    • ZD March 13, 2019 (9:47 pm)

      Scholars fight better.

      • Rick March 14, 2019 (8:36 am)

        Hopefully they fight smarter.

      • 505 March 14, 2019 (4:32 pm)

        +1

  • m March 13, 2019 (8:17 pm)

    I feel very dismayed that this notice was not sent to families until a day and a half after the incident took place. 

  • There. I said it March 13, 2019 (8:19 pm)

    No, Miss Fraser-Hammer. What CSIHS really needs is a new leadership. Families are leaving, teachers are just waiting for you to retire and students are only numbers to you. In all honesty, it isn’t your fault only. Your executive director continues to tell you how good you are doing as it reflects how good she is doing. What is the appropriate consequence for one of your students assaulting another student with a wrench? That’s a tough one. I would love to say I trust your integrity to handle it right but I lost my faith in you a long time ago. Good luck to you and your community.

  • valvashon March 13, 2019 (8:20 pm)

    “Scholars” getting into physical fights with each other.  Doublespeak at its finest.

  • Mike March 13, 2019 (9:13 pm)

    SPD was called and they arrested a student?  That tells me this was more than just a little fighting that spilled over into the school.  Where are the adults?  If this can be brought into the school from the street, there’s zero security that would prevent a worse event by someone that’s not causing a commotion.

    • There. I said it March 14, 2019 (7:43 am)

      Yep. School administrators are downplaying it because they can. It was not a confrontation scalating that prompted the police to come, it was a full on attack with a wrench. And it was not on-site medical attention, it was hospital level stitching.I am no longer a CSIHS parent and do not have the time/emotional bandwidth to look into this more than I have. But I urge the community to ask questions and hold the administrators and school district accountable for the physical and emotional safety of the students. I would disagree with the principal this type of situations are infrequent, they aren’t. 

  • Yma March 13, 2019 (9:36 pm)

    Sad:(how did the non -students/scholars spill into the school area?

  • Alki resident March 13, 2019 (9:41 pm)

    Why weren’t the non students arrested for trespassing during school hours? 

  • ZELLY March 13, 2019 (9:53 pm)

    It is worrying that non-students entered the school but it sounds like a chaotic situation. Were there weapons? Was this gang-related? Not a lot of details.

  • WS Mom March 14, 2019 (6:42 am)

     More importantly the school needs to take active action when bullying occurs. This “disagreement” was the culmination of over two years of harassment toward the “scholar” that was attacked. She ended up at Harborview were stitches were required because of what she was attacked with. In addition to that there is no way that her family wishes for her to return to Sealth.  The family had actually had discussions at the school before this situation happened in an attempt to remove her or have them take action against the attackers.. The district needs to step up and provide a safe environment for all of their “scholars” to learn in.

    • There. I said it March 14, 2019 (7:27 am)

      The attacker admitted to the police she had brought a metal wrench to school with the intention of using it. Fraser-Hammer is desperately attempting to make it sound less of a school problem – outside action spilling in as if it was less problematic. In my opinion it is worse when the attacker brings people from outside.Aida, do your community a favor and LEAVE 

    • West Seattle Hipster March 14, 2019 (7:30 am)

      Hopefully the family can hold the responsible parties liable for the actions (and lack of action).

    • WS Mom March 14, 2019 (9:58 am)

        Another WS Mom; Yes the victim was attacked by a wrench.  There were multiple older girls that attacked one 9th grade girl. The school was contacted by the victims family several times in weeks prior asking for them to provide some type of safety, transfer to another school and intervention. Nothing was done to the point that it impacted the victims peace of mind and health. Now she has permanent damage to her face that she will have to live with rest of her life and to her self esteem. The incident took place on school grounds and the school administration did not even contact the police. None of this is acceptable. 

      • WSB March 14, 2019 (10:09 am)

        WSM – regarding “did not even contact the police” are you referring to an additional incident? The principal’s letter says there was an arrest and that would usually indicate police were involved at some point. I’ve found an incident # for what I think was this call – it’s coded “assault” – and am requesting that report from SPD for starters. – TR

        • WSB March 14, 2019 (1:45 pm)

          Update: Police report obtained; narrative added above.

  • Another WS Mom March 14, 2019 (7:01 am)

    Completely agree with above comments regarding new leadership at Sealth. Sealth has some wonderful teachers but their leadership needs improving.  Hopefully something will be done. I realize there are problems at all schools but in this case (cases??) the leadership needs to be addressed.

    • WS Mom March 14, 2019 (9:43 am)

      There I Said It Correct she was attacked by a wrench and now has permanent facial damage. It doesn’t matter where the conflict originally started the confrontation occurred on school grounds and the school had been warned by the victims mother that issues existed. The school should have taken more preventative action. And why did the school not report the incident to the police?  The attackers were all older students and multiple. They attacked one 9th grader! Not ok.

    • WS Mom March 14, 2019 (9:50 am)

      Another WS Mom; Yes the victim was attacked by a wrench.  There were multiple older girls that attacked one 9th grade girl. The school was contacted by the victims family several times in weeks prior asking for them to provide some type of safety, transfer to another school and intervention. Nothing was done to the point that it impacted the victims peace of mind and health. Now she has permanent damage to her face that she will have to live with rest of her life and to her self esteem. The incident took place on school grounds and the school administration did not even contact the police. None of this is acceptable.  

  • Tony March 14, 2019 (9:21 am)

    I put in an intent to enroll at Summit Atlas for 2018-2020 for my Sealth scholar. Just in time – The deadline is 5pm today. 

  • Jim P. March 14, 2019 (11:17 am)

    “the situation started out as a disagreement between scholars”  Over something academic perhaps? Perhaps whether Platonic archetypes remain a valid philosophical stance?But then they are called “girls” elsewhere.  Wouldn’t “proto-women” be better, less disparaging if we’re going to engage in silly words like calling kids “scholars”?A high school student may be a scholar but not all scholars are high school students and I’ll bet this group fails any “scholar’ test you’d care to offer.”One scholar was arrested and the student has been disciplined consistent with district procedures.” Not even consistent use within one sentence.

  • dftl March 14, 2019 (2:05 pm)

    “Scholars” – sure.

  • Fred March 14, 2019 (5:12 pm)

    I have to concur with the posters and wonder when ‘students’ became ‘scholars”? It makes it more difficult to understand when the “scholars” involved were fighting. What kind of academic mis-speak is this?  I’m a 1970 graduate of CSHS and the only time the term ‘scholar’ was uttered or heard was one time, when one of our classmates was a National Merit Scholar. I highly doubt that the parties involved in this fracas are National Merit Scholars.My wife has been a teacher in the Seattle Public Schools for 30 years and is retiring soon. I’ve heard and read a lot of BS regarding policies and practices over that time frame, but for this one I had to put on my Waist High Waders!

  • flimflam March 14, 2019 (5:23 pm)

    what an awful incident – i also agree with others that the use of “scholars” by the school is pretty funny/not funny.i feel terrible for the 9th grader attacked.  “kids” can be brutal.

  • HpResident March 14, 2019 (5:24 pm)

    The amount of violence at that school is the exact reason why my 8th grader won’t be attending. Not the first article on wsb about this plus I have heard enough from others. When is the district going to support the teachers and good students? getting rid of the current leadership team needs to happen the school is failing and dangerous.

    • Nanette March 14, 2019 (9:43 pm)

      Principal’s plan is to get rid of the support staff that de-escalated the situation and cared for the students who were scared, bloody and feeling unsafe.   That should help. 

  • zark00 March 14, 2019 (5:47 pm)

    The comments from CSIHS parents about the principal are troubling to say the least.  I realize parents complain about school a lot – I do too – but these are not your average ‘griping parent complaints’ – these are people who have completely lost faith in CSIHS leadership, and it’s obvious from the comments this isn’t borne of this single incident.  Contact the superintendent and ombudsperson and make sure they are aware of the gravity of this situation.  From my own personal experience with SPS it’s more likely they are not.  School leadership do not always accurately convey the seriousness of a situation to the district for obvious reasons.

    • Mike March 14, 2019 (6:33 pm)

      School leadership do not always accurately convey the seriousness of a situation to the district for obvious reasons.” Or at all.  We’re already looking to move into another district or find a private school for our kids.  Once they’re in middle school, we don’t want them to be part of the current SPS system.  SPS is too big for it’s own good, needs to be broken up.

    • There. I said it March 14, 2019 (11:28 pm)

      The road for parents to bring up a concern to Miss Fraser-Hammer, have her dismiss it, reach out to the area executive director, district officials, school board, is long and painful. Reaching out to the ombudsman and the Supt will send you back to the school administration. Then you become “that parent” because the system perpetuates the inadequacy of weak leaders that are dumped in lower income schools. This would never happen in WSHS, Roosevelt, you get the picture. Been there, done that. Never again.

      • Mike March 16, 2019 (2:13 pm)

        This would never happen in WSHS, Roosevelt, you get the picture, you get the picture”  Odd, it happens at Bellevue High School, Mercer Island High School, Redmond High School, Woodinville High School, you get the picture.  Trust me, this is not a lower income school issue, it’s a much larger problem with who gets put in positions of power.   I don’t think people in Seattle know what low income schools are.  You should look at schools far outside of King County for low income schools.  Franklin County, Okanogan County.  I know my friend that’s a teacher in Grant County had a kid in her class who’s parents were nowhere to be found multiple times because they were so hopped up on meth they didn’t even remember they had a kid.  Seattle schools  have some families that are lower income and some that are homeless, but the schools are far from being lower income schools.

  • Wshs mom March 14, 2019 (8:46 pm)

    my daughter who attends West Seattle High School, has been harassed by the same girl who hit this young women in the head with a wrench. My daughter did not even know the girl and this young female tried pepper spraying my daughter and assaulted her for no reason. Some kids need to grow up…

    • Mike March 15, 2019 (6:09 am)

      Please make sure that SPD knows about this too.  They can help you file a report.  As a victim of a bully that gave me a mild concussion in 7th grade, I can tell you that it won’t stop.   My attacker harassed me until I went to a different school for high school.  Then my attacker attended the same college and they continued to try and harass me there.  Now I can Google this same attacker and see that he violated federal laws and enjoys a life of committing fraud that’s caused numerous people to lose money.   I also found out that this attacker had done the same to another person in school.  So, report it, make sure this is all documented and press charges if need be.

    • Another WS Mom March 15, 2019 (8:09 am)

      WSHS Mom I agree, please call the police while they have this girl in custody. Most likely she’ll be out soon. I’m sorry that happened to your daughter.

  • Pete March 14, 2019 (10:02 pm)

    I do feel bad for the person who got hurt & agree with everyone that this shouldn’t happen at schools. Same time this report in other major cities, LA, NY, DC, etc. would be just another Thursday…

  • Susan March 14, 2019 (10:38 pm)

    There is an on-site “Resource Officer,” a uniformed police officer who has developed a very good relationship with the students over time.  If the situation had been brewing for several weeks and the parents had contacted the school for assistance, it seems like a BIG lapse in responsibility to not have communicated with the Resource Officer who could have kept a better eye out and perhaps have headed things off before the wrench appeared.

  • Ws prayers March 15, 2019 (12:15 am)

    Even tho deadine was today I would.still encourage any parents who would want to transfer their student over to summit atlas to check it out-it is a great school -smaller classrooms and in genreal not so my kids each kid gets a mentor everyone is a team in students sucess to become scholars it’s is an option I would encourage to call them I ended up transferring mine after the deadline I had to get my kid out of chief sealth 

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