Monticello school staff quells altercation with middle school students

MONTICELLO – An altercation that began with two students at Robert J. Kaiser Middle School on Thursday led to a larger incident among additional students.

School staff members quickly gained control over the situation, but not until after other students, who were directed not to enter the area, proceeded to do so.

The incident occurred during student transitioning between periods 7 and 8. After safety staff repeatedly attempted to verbally deescalate the situation, one of the students became physically aggressive, requiring a safety staff member to place the student in a hold.

One safety officer reported a minor injury. All students involved in the incident were assessed by the school nurses on staff. “Our staff is routinely trained using the Handle With Care Behavioral Management guidelines which emphasize verbal de-escalation tactics,” said Principal Nick Milas. “Unfortunately, physical holds are necessary when a student is posing an immediate threat to himself or to others. In the rare cases that a student is placed in a physical hold, our staff is taught to do so using methods that minimize the risk of injury to either the staff or student. Student and staff safety is always our top priority.”

For the remainder of the school day, the school was on a “hold in place” and classes resume. During the hold in place, students were allowed to leave their classrooms if escorted by an adult.

Monticello Police and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Officer were notified and arrived after the altercation was contained by school staff. Law enforcement was not involved in restraining any students,” officials said.

The district administration said it is unable to disclose any specific disciplinary information, it is working in cooperation with law enforcement to fun fully investigate the incident and to mete appropriate disciplinary measures.

While the middle school had its issue, the high school was placed in lockout based on a social media threat made. That was determined to be not credible.

The high school was expected to be operating as normal on Friday.

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