Pennbrook Middle School officials talk Stanley cup attack timeline, investigation process, prevention efforts

North Penn School District held a previously scheduled virtual Safe Schools Committee meeting Monday night to further outline their action plan after a Pennbrook Middle School student attacked their classmate on April 19th. 

During the two hour meeting, school officials outlined what happened the day of the attack, how they are investigating it, and the steps being taken to prevent it from happening again. 

Superintendent Dr. Todd Bauer began the meeting acknowledging parents’ concerns for their students' safety and emphasizing the district’s commitment to moving forward through collaboration, partnership, and one conversation at a time. 

However, Dr. Bauer did not get into the specifics regarding the student, citing a student’s right to due process, student privacy laws, and an ongoing criminal investigation.

"Anytime a student is excluded from school for more than three days, they have the right to an informal hearing," said Dr. Bauer.  "And that informal hearing is essentially a sit down discussion and trial, if you will, and presentation event. So it gives the student and their family the right to bring forward witnesses to bring evidence, explanations, those types of things forward. Students have the right to that proceeding. And decisions about long term discipline, for example, cannot be made without that informal hearing occurring."

Dr. Bauer says then Dr. Pete Nicholson and principal Nick Taylor would make a recommendation to him and the family would have the right to appeal the decision before the board. 

As of Monday’s meeting, Dr. Bauer says those disciplines have yet to occur and when a student is detained the timeline is put on pause and would proceed when they no longer are. 

Currently the 13-year-old student accused of hitting their 12-year-old classmate over the head with a metal Stanley cup is being charged, and the victim is home recovering. 


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But since the attack many parents have expressed concerns over the district's prior procedures put in place and response. 

Megan Krache is one of the parents who Dr. Bauer spoke to following the attack and who organized a protest last week. She says her daughter was in the lunchroom when the attack happened. 

"Our kids were literally calling us from the cafeteria screaming and crying," said Krache. "Mom there's blood everywhere. There's blood everywhere. You can say this violence, this behavior is not allowed in North Penn and it will never happen again. That's all every single parent here wanted to hear."

Krache says school officials fell short of saying that at Monday’s meeting. However, school officials did acknowledge parent’s concerns about the template letter the school’s principal sent out after the attack, calling it a "physical altercation." 

Dr. Bauer also clarified that after conducting interviews and reviewing footage, it took six seconds for the students to be separated. 

He explained classrooms were put on hold at 1:27 p.m. then at 1:33 p.m. the hold was lifted, but the cafeteria was unable to hear the announcement, so they didn’t get the message until nearly 20 minutes later.

School officials also outlined some action items they are taking immediately including: 

  • contracting a third party investigator
  • hosting a safe schools forum
  • creating student and staff safety committees
  • meeting with the county’s school safety coordinator
  • collaborating with law enforcement
  • providing additional mental health services.