Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drunks

Monday, October 3, 2011

Second Student Attacked at Rainier Beach After School Officials Failed to Call 911 for First Attack

Posted by on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 5:09 PM

As we reported earlier today, an assistant football coach at Rainier Beach High School intervened last Tuesday when four people assaulted a student near the football field (causing the student to suffer "contusions to the head and face" and get briefly knocked unconscious), but the coach—who works for the school district—didn't call 911. Instead, according to police records, the victim went home, where his mother called 911.

But that wasn't the only assault: Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Teresa Wippel says today that the same group of four men attacked another student, apparently on school grounds, later that night. "When the student showed up for his class the next morning," Wippel explains, "his teacher noticed he had some injuries and told him to go to the hospital."

Why didn't a school district employee who saw the first attack call police—particularly when the same group of assailants attacked another student later that evening?

"It did not happen on school time," Wippel says. "It did not happen during the course of school events. We certainly [call 911] if there’s a concern about students being in danger. Our understanding is [the assailants] came out for a particular student."

Wippel also points out Seattle Public Schools policy states that "employees are instructed to call police if students are in danger." Because the assailants had dispersed, the football coach deemed that there was no further danger to students, she says. Wippel says that the assaults technically occurred off school grounds in adjacent field operated by the Seattle Parks and Recreation. However, it should be noted that the adjacent fields are on the same larger plot of land as the school, and it's where students recreate during school hours and practice after-school sports.

According to Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Dewey Potter, "The football field is owned by the school."

While the first victim attends Rainier Beach, the second is a student at Interagency Academy, a degree completion school whose students include "many homeless youth or youth-in-transition." (The school allows students to participate in athletics programs at other schools.) One of the four alleged assailants also attends Interagency Academy, and has been linked to both assaults by the school district.

Seattle police have not linked any other filed assault to the first incident.


Comments (19) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Cui Bono 1
If I get shot on campus, but it doesn't "happen on school time", does that mean I get patched-up by the school nurse and driven home?
Posted by Cui Bono on October 3, 2011 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Yo, no snitchin'!

Besides, you probably get credit at Rainier Beach HS for a beat down.
Posted by Urban culture 101 on October 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
School athletic departments, not unlike the Catholic Church, think they are a law unto themselves.
Posted by Fnarf on October 3, 2011 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Rainer beach.
Posted by sonder on October 3, 2011 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Hey how come Charles Mudede never writes about the massively disproportionate amount of violence committed by blacks in Seattle?

Oh yeah it just doesn't fit in with his hate-whitey/jackoff to Amanda Knox and name-drop Foucault agenda.

I still think that the only reason is still employeed at the stranger is because he must have some serious criminal blackmail dirt on Dan Savage or Tim Keck.
Posted by Make Mudede write about something real and important on October 3, 2011 at 7:42 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 6
charles.. you hate whitey ? i did not know that.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on October 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM · Report this
Based on this presentation of her statement, Ms. Wippel should not be a media spokesperson. Her clarification of policy really does nothing but inspire contempt for her employer.
Posted by Action Slacks on October 3, 2011 at 8:33 PM · Report this
CripKev 8
This is not the first time that Rainier Beach staff has avoided calling the police ... In June 2007, a 15-year-old girl was raped in one of the school's bathrooms. The school did not report it. In fact, the girl and her mother had to go to the police themselves to report the incident.
Posted by CripKev on October 3, 2011 at 8:33 PM · Report this
Dear AC,

.....Perhaps contempt for Ms. Wippel's employer is merited in this situation.

..... Is a media spokesperson to be communicating the truth? Or just putting a positive spin on everything?

..... Note RBHS has been faulted for this kind of failure to report in years past.

..... The new RBHS principal Mr. Dwane Chappelle was not involved in the failure to report to police.

..... Welcome to Seattle and keep up the good work Mr. Chappelle.
Posted by WestSeattleDan on October 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM · Report this
laterite 10
This doesn't seem that outlandish to me. Fucked up, yes, but not unheard of. Schools have always had this weird sort of hands-off, see/speak/hear-no-evil policy when it comes to fights and confrontations on their property. I knew kids in junior high who would go home after school, drop off their backpacks, and come back to the grounds to fight. As long as it was outside school hours the "officials" wouldn't intervene.
Posted by laterite on October 3, 2011 at 9:52 PM · Report this
"We certainly [call 911] if there’s a concern about students being in danger. Our understanding is [the assailants] came out for a particular student."

So if its one student they don't call but if its multiple they will?
Posted by giffy on October 3, 2011 at 11:04 PM · Report this
Timrrr 12
Wow. A kid got beat up in High School by some bigger kids. What are the odds of that? And why wasn't the SWAT team called out?!?

Only one possible solution!

Posted by Timrrr on October 4, 2011 at 12:52 AM · Report this
The thing you have to remember about high school is that it's totally and irrevocably fucked up. The students are fucked up, the teachers and administrators are fucked up, and the parents are fucked up. The reason is that all high schools operate inside their own little worlds, wholly separate from the rest of society, and governed by written and unwritten rules that have very little relation to common sense. This is why anyone associated with high school can often be observed to act in a manner that is incomprehensible or even insane.

In our society, if you witness a beating or any other violent crime, you call the police. It doesn't matter if the beating is currently going on or if it has ended, it doesn't matter who was involved or why. Everybody understands that violence is unacceptable and must be stopped. But in high school, every little detail matters. Who is the victim? Are the assailants from this school? Is the attack going on inside the building or is it on the football field? Is student supervision part of your job description? What time is it?

In this case, even though two students were beaten, the School Spokeswoman seems quite pleased with herself. This is because in her mind, everybody followed the rules, even the attackers followed the rules, and so everything is fine, everything is normal. If that seems crazy, it's because you graduated from high school a long time ago, and you're left with only a few fond memories to be nostalgic over. But those of us who graduated recently can still remember the twisted logic of that other world, and we're glad to be rid of it.
Posted by Brandon J. on October 4, 2011 at 12:58 AM · Report this
horatiocain 14
@13 that was spectacularly well put and you said it all, baby
Posted by horatiocain on October 4, 2011 at 2:03 AM · Report this
This is just part of the "stop snitching" thing common to lower-class culture.

Fifteen years ago, I sat on a stoop in Hilltop (Tacoma) as police cars drove around with their loudspeakers informing everyone not to leave their homes, lights flashing, all very intimidating. If you walked, took the bus, or drove a shitty car, you were very likely to get stopped by an officer who would ask if he could search your backpack or bags. If you were one of the suburban kids driving through in a Lexus to buy drugs in the ghetto, the cops left you alone.

That's because rich kids have rich parents, who make campaign donations to candidates running for Sheriff, Mayor, or City Council. The cops knew where their bread was buttered, so they were very polite to anyone who was obviously well-off.

Well, after so many years, non-cooperation with the police sort of became embedded in the communities that were being unfairly targeted by the police.

Unfortunately, this is the fruit of that non-cooperation. The downside to "stop snitching" is that there is nobody to defend the small and weak from thugs.

It also doesn't help that thugs have become glorified in popular culture. How a crack dealer became a neighborhood hero, I'm not sure exactly.
Posted by Statler N Waldorf on October 4, 2011 at 7:08 AM · Report this
I've read this story a couple times now and it just becomes more puzzling.

1. The coach took enough responsibility to intervene and to drive the student home, but didn't want to take responsibility by calling 9-1-1. Odd.

2. The student was "briefly knocked unconscious" and the assistant football coach didn't think that warranted a call to 9-1-1 for medical attention. Really? Isn't loss of consciousness a significant indicator that the subject is in need of a medical review? Would this assistant football coach neglect to seek medical attention for a player who lost consciousness after a hit on the field? If so, he needs some training.

3. A student is being beaten by four young men. The beating is serious enough that the assistant football coach feels a need to intervene. The victim losses consciousness. Then the School District spokesperson says "We certainly [call 911] if there’s a concern about students being in danger." Gee, how much more danger does a student have to be in?

4. The assistant football coach concluded that the student wasn't in any danger because the assailants had left. In short, they had gotten away with it and there was nothing more to do. Hey, no need to call the cops when someone steals your stuff because once it is stolen the danger that they can steal it has passed. What a bizarre expectation - that the police can prevent future harm rather than respond to harm once it has been done.
Posted by Charlie Mas on October 4, 2011 at 9:50 AM · Report this
You're all missing it.

"We certainly [call 911] if there’s a concern about students being in danger."

Students. Plural.
Posted by Irving on October 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Baby Blue 18
The Seattle Public School District failed to protect students because the attack didn't happen during school time? Yep, that sounds normal to me. SPS and the majority of its employees fail to practice common sense on a regular basis during school hours. Why should they be expected to show any common decency outside of school hours? Besides, if anyone had called 911, they would have no doubt then had to file pages upon pages of paperwork and that would have totally ruined their evening.
Posted by Baby Blue on October 4, 2011 at 1:20 PM · Report this
The Assistant Coach is a mandatory reporter of Child Abuse. This fits the definition in the statute since the statute does not address who is doing the abusing. If a Mandatory Reporter (E.g. Schoold District Employee, Doctor, Cop) sees that a student has been abused (i.e. being knocked unconscious) they must report it to the police within 48 hours. The statute also requires that the Police investigate it, which in this case they are. That is not the issue, it is the failure to report this assault on a student as required by law. The Assistant Football Coach should be prosecuted for a Gross Misdemeanor. See RCW 26.44.
Posted by georgeingeorgetown on October 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy