When a Pennsylvania principal saw a fight happening as students were leaving school, he immediately jumped in to try and stop it -- only to end up hospitalized for serious injuries reportedly sustained when one of the students hit him in the head with a brick.
"They beat the crap out of him," Robin Cooper, president of a principals' union, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "They ganged up on him."
The altercation took place between students at Fitler Academics Plus School and students from nearby Mastery Charter schools in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's network of Mastery Charter schools frequently target disadvantaged areas full of struggling students and works to help them improve in school and move forward in life using a supportive but less-structured system than many public schools, according to The Hechinger Report.
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The attack was caught on video, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Using that footage, Mastery officials managed to identify some of the assailants -- some of whom were in their disciplinary program.
Fitler principal Anthious Boone landed in the emergency room for trying to stop the attack. He suffered from an eye that was scratched and nearly swollen shut, a headache, broken glasses and blurry vision; his clothes were also covered in blood, said Cooper.
The police report did not mention a brick, saying only that Boone was punched in the face. Boone has not yet publicly commented on the matter.
"The safety of our students, staff and principals is always a top priority," Lee Whack, a spokesman for Philadelphia School District, said in a statement. "Violence of any kind at our schools is unacceptable."
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According to Whack, safety officers will be stationed at the school until the end of the year, and administration officials have reached out to surrounding charter schools regarding the incident.
However, some say this was just the latest in a number of attacks charter students have launched on Fitler students over the school year.
"[The charter students] get out of school, and they wait for the Fitler kids to come out, and they start fighting," said Gloria Tankard, whose two daughters attend Fitler. "They walked in the schoolyard, and they started punching some seventh- and eighth-graders in the face, and they knocked some little kids down."
Tankard said that Fitler is "a great school" but it is "under attack" by the charter students and needs help from the community.
"There are not enough safety resources," said Cooper. "The principal has to jump in and stop fights, and he can't protect everybody alone. We just want safe schools."