AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – A 16-year-old student is facing felony assault charges after the principal of Sweet Home High School and a teacher were injured while breaking up a fight on Monday.
Sweet Home Central Schools Superintendent Anthony Day addressed all 1,100 students in the high school Tuesday about the incident. He said Principal Joleen Reinholz is home “resting and recovering.” Day says he hopes Reinholz will be able to return to school soon.
Monday, the district said students were fighting in the 600 wing of the school and Principal Joleen Reinholz was attempting to break up the fight when she was injured. Police tell News 4, two or three students came to the aid of the principal, who was knocked to the ground for a few seconds. She was taken to Erie County Medical Center and is believed to have had a concussion.
The school resource officer Greg Trotter was on the scene within a minute and a half, according to police, and did not suffer any injuries.
Amherst Police say 16-year-old Keshaun Johnson is charged with felony assault. Tuesday morning he was arraigned in Amherst Town Court, in front of Judge Geoffrey Klein. Johnson was released on his own recognizance. He will return to court for a preliminary hearing on March 20th.
The charge against Johnson was considered under aggravating circumstances, because he allegedly struck a school staffer during the school day. This makes the charge a felony and not a misdemeanor.
Police do not believe that Johnson was aiming for the principal. Police tell News 4 Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg that there was another student who was going after Johnson, and that the incident stemmed from a dispute the two student were having outside of school, in their Creek Woods neighborhood.
The incident is believed to have been captured on a school camera, there are 300 surveillance cameras in the Sweet Home Central School District.
Police say the other student involved is 17 years old.
The district says it will take “every step available to see that those involved receive appropriate discipline.”