New Castle News

August 14, 2013

Neshannock superintendent says students have been charged in alleged bus assault

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Neshannock Township school board members this week discussed consequences of a New York bus trip.

Board member Amy Na asked at Monday’s meeting if the issue had been resolved. Board members and administrators met in executive session following the meeting to discuss it. The discussion was closed to the public because juveniles are involved, officials said.

Tuesday, Dr. Mary Todora, district superintendent, said police have filed charges and the incident is now before the courts and no longer in the hands of the district.

“We imposed our discipline on the students for violating the code of conduct,” she said. “We did that after our investigation. There is nothing more we can do. It is in the hands of the police, the legal system.”

All punishments, she said, were imposed prior to the end of the 2012-13 school year.

In July, Neshannock Township police filed juvenile petitions against four high school students. All four are charged with one count each of simple assault and harassment, according to Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa.

The charges followed an investigation of an alleged assault of a female student and after consultation with the family of the girl.

Earlier this year, Lt. John Rand of the Neshannock Township police said officers had begun an investigation after being contacted by the victim’s mother.

Charges stem from an alleged incident in April during an overnight field trip to New York City. Between 50 and 60 Neshannock students — all ninth-graders — made the trip, police said. The alleged assault occurred as the group returned to Lawrence County.

Todora noted six or seven chaperones — two administrators and the rest teachers — had accompanied the students.