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European edition, Friday, May 18, 2007

HEIDELBERG, Germany — A ninth-grade girl accused of hitting Heidelberg High School administrators after a fight in the school lobby last Friday is awaiting a disciplinary hearing that could send her back to the United States.

The 16-year-old, whose name was not released, has not been allowed back to school since the May 11 incident that left the school principal and assistant principal with bruises and strained muscles, according to a Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe spokesman.

Assistant principal Lauri Kenney was checked at the hospital after the disturbance, which ended with the girl being taken off a school bus she had boarded and the military police in attendance.

Dennis Bohannon, DODDS-Europe spokesman, said the problems started about 3 p.m. in the school lobby, when the girl and another girl, a 16-year-old sophomore, began fighting. A large group of students gathered to watch, and Kenney and Principal Allen Davenport came running to restore order, Bohannon said.

In the confusion, and as students were ordered to clear the hallways, the sophomore “slipped away,” Bohannon said. She was subsequently suspended for three days, he said.

The freshman boarded a bus to leave school and then was pursued by the two administrators onto the bus. They told her to get off and return to the office with them.

“The student became combative,” Bohannon said. “I would just say the young lady refused to get off the bus and took numerous swings at the two administrators. She assaulted the two.”

Bohannon said whether the girl would be allowed to return to school — or instead be sent back to the U.S. via an “Early Return of Dependents” action — would be decided by the Heidelberg garrison commander after a disciplinary hearing.

Bohannon said he didn’t know the impetus of the fight between the two girls. He said he believed this was the first time this year that a student was accused of attacking DODDS administrators.

Both Kenney and Davenport declined to be interviewed.

author picture
Nancy is an Italy-based reporter for Stars and Stripes who writes about military health, legal and social issues. An upstate New York native who served three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from the University of Arizona, she previously worked at The Anchorage Daily News and The Seattle Times. Over her nearly 40-year journalism career she’s won several regional and national awards for her stories and was part of a newsroom-wide team at the Anchorage Daily News that was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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