Mentor High School increasing security after closing Friday due to rumors of retaliation from student attacking another student

Mentor High School increasing security after closing Friday due to rumors of retaliation from student attacking another student
Mentor High School and Mentor Police are investigating a disturbing attack that occurred Thursday morning at the high school. (Source: Snapchat)

MENTOR, Ohio (WOIO) -"The female that was the suspect, the aggressor, she was arrested. She’s being charged," according to the Mentor Police Chief.

She was released into her mother’s custody. Here’s how it all went down.

Mentor Police investigating disturbing assault of girl at high school

A teenage girl walked up behind her unsuspecting schoolmate and snatched her hair causing her to hit head first on the floor, knocking her unconscious.

A video of the whole brutal attack is very disturbing.

In it, you also see, the aggressor punches her victim in her face three times with a balled up fist.

She even had the gall to spit in her face... far from lady-like.

Because of this violent attack, Mentor High School was closed on Friday.

The district took that measure to avoid any further violence because there are rumors of retaliation.

I asked Mentor Police Chief Ken Gunsch about that.

Boomer: “What did she say as to why all this went down?"

Chief Gunsch: “That’s still part of the investigation. I don’t want to get into any of that.”

Boomer: “We have of course heard rumors that one of the reasons the school is closed down today is a matter of safety, just to be sure, because there’s a rumor there’s going to be retaliation going on. Why would that be the case if that is the case?”

Chief Gunsch: "There was a threat received. We take it seriously. The school takes it very seriously. We’re still investigating it, trying to get to the core of it. We haven’t been able to corroborate it, anything that’s credible.”

Mentor police are tracking down all the details and will deal with all those that played a role in this violent attack.

Vehicles at the school in the evening belong to band members who boarded buses to take them to their Friday night football game over in Solon. Police there are on watch for any potential trouble.

In regards to the video that captured the attack, Chief Gunsch said, "It was set up and he or she was ready to film what was going on. We’re following that up right now. We haven’t charged anybody with that but there is the possible of that once our investigation is concluded. You’re participating in that whether you’re putting your hands on her or not. You’re an active participant in that.”

On Friday, Mentor Superintendent Bill Porter sent the following letter to the school community confirming that weekend events will go on as scheduled and classes will resume on Monday with increased security:

Good afternoon,

I wanted a chance this afternoon to give an update on some of the events from our high school this past week that ultimately led to the closure of Mentor High School today.

First, I am outraged by the brutal attack against one of our students by another student on Thursday. This egregious action will be dealt with in the most severe way possible, and others who assisted, encouraged, or had knowledge are also being held accountable. Besides the injuries the young victim sustained, I am also sad to think about how this affects the overwhelming majority of our students who represent us every day with exceptional work ethic, character, behavior, and respect for each other.

The attack, the resulting news coverage, the rumored threats, and the closure of school is an unjust burden that our students and staff must bear for the horrific actions of a few individuals. But like we do during tough times in Mentor, we rally. I challenge our students, with help from our staff and parents, to stand together again to make sure our school represents the best of who we are. The events of this past week will not define us.

Our work this week has been greatly assisted by the Mentor and Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Departments, who are always there for us. I am thankful for their tireless work to follow up on dozens of leads related to the rumored threats against Mentor High. After much careful investigation, they confirm that there is still no credibility to the rumors and threats. With support from the Mentor Police, classes will resume on Monday at Mentor High School and extracurricular activities planned for this weekend can go on as scheduled.

We will have extra police and administrators on hand throughout the day Monday, and for the days beyond, to provide extra peace of mind for students, staff, and parents. Safety will continue to be our number one priority - and we are adding additional security measures at Mentor High School right away. In addition, we recognize some students will struggle emotionally, so we will have extra supports from the Lake County Trauma Response Team available for students. Finally, we will have a chance to speak with students directly in grade level meetings at the beginning of the week.

One positive about this was the tremendous response from students, parents, and our own staff to share information with us or with the police if they were seeing or hearing something that wasn’t right. Our See Something- Say Something philosophy worked exactly like it should have.

I want to thank you for your continued support of Mentor Schools. Have a good evening.

Sincerely,

Bill Porter

Superintendent of Mentor Schools

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