12-year-old's hair set on fire at Long Creek Elementary
The photos tell the story, singed hair, burns, pain that runs deep for a 12-year old girl whose hair was set on fire at Long Creek Elementary School. The child's family gave these pictures to News Channel 12, they have asked us not to identify her.
"Immediately you think about that and you go, "Whoa, how can that happen how could you let a child bring a lighter to school."" Will Pierce lives in Hinds County, far from where it happened, but word travels fast and this story has caught almost everyone's attention. Pierce says despite the girl's injuries, he believes the two boys responsible do not need a harsh punishment. "Kids are mischievous and kids do things like this for some body so young and to have such a harsh punishment no way," says Pierce.
WJTV Facebook friends disagree. Dale Authement commented, "Expelled, pay hospital, doctor bills, publicly apologize, do community work at a burn center. Yep, that should do it. Kathy Davis says, "Zero tolerance! Those boys need to be punished severely, I hope they are in jail right now."
"Yea they need a spanking, they need a disciplinary action of some sort, but jail, oh my God, they're kids, their lives haven't even started," says Pierce.
Doug Crosby, the Attala County attorney, tells us the case has been turned over to the Attala County Youth Court.
"If the youth court counselor deems that there's sufficient evidence to go forward - she could either handle it informally or she could recommend that a formal hearing take place," says Crosby.
We spoke with the Attala County Schools superintendent about the incident. Bryan Weaver says the district is considering corporal punishment for the two involved - that ranges from suspension, alternative school or even expulsion.
Here is a statement released from the district to News Channel 12 this afternoon:
The Attala County School District strives to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students across the school district. The Attala County School District strives to be proactive to protect our students from all dangers; both outside our school doors and inside. In dealing with internal discipline problems, schools cannot make plans for every single possible student behavior. Understanding this, student discipline becomes reactive to the incidents as they occur.
The incident that occurred on January 7 at Long Creek Elementary, in which a student’s hair was set on fire, was appalling and un-excusable. This behavior is in no way a reflection of the students, schools, and communities that are represented by the Attala County School District. All appropriate actions are being pursued to ensure, to the best of the District’s abilities, an event such as this does not occur again.