KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knox County investigators are in the preliminary stages of an investigation into a video circulating online showing a student being punched repeatedly by another student at Hardin Valley Academy, a Knox County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.
WATE has seen the video that began circulating social media Wednesday showing what appears to be a student being punched repeatedly in a school bathroom.
“Sheriff Tom Spangler along with our School Resource Officers and Juvenile Crimes Unit are aware of the video circulating online involving students from Hardin Valley Academy,” a KCSO release said Thursday. “The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is investigating however, the investigation is still in the preliminary stages.”
Knox County Schools confirmed they are aware of the incident and are currently conducting an investigation.
Knox County school board member Terry Hill shared a statement with WATE 6 On Your Side Thursday afternoon regarding the incident:
“I know this matter was addressed immediately when school personnel were made aware of the incident. This behavior is not tolerated in our schools. I appreciate the swift action by Knox County security and Knox County Sheriff officers in their handling of events.”Terry Hill, KCS board member
KCSO did confirm later Thursday that the incident happened at Hardin Valley Academy, on school property.
Thursday evening, a note from HVA principal Rob Speas was sent out to parents:
Hawk Nation,Rob Speas, Principal, Hardin Valley Academy
I want to thank everyone who has reached out to us in support at Hardin Valley Academy today. As you know HVA has been in the news today due to a negative incident. I want to reassure you that we are taking the situation very seriously and are following our district procedures in regard to student discipline. School administration started our investigation on Wednesday and we will continue investigating until the situation is completely resolved. I also want to let you know that there is a great deal of misinformation about the situation. Some key details were misreported through social media and then picked up by the local news outlets. Due to student privacy laws, we are unable to provide more information. Please know that we believe that every student needs to feel safe and loved while at HVA. If there is ever a reason that your child does not feel this way, please reach out to the school so that we provide the proper support and attention. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
This is a developing story and we’ll continue to update the details as they become available.