Fight at charter school leads to one injury, two suspensions

Local News

Buffalo police are investigating a violent confrontation at the Charter Middle School for Applied Technologies that sent one girl to the hospital, and resulted in two other girls being withheld from classes.

The victim’s mother believes her sixth grade daughter was assaulted by the two girls as a scare tactic because she has resisted efforts to join a gang, and that has made her a target.

Karla Warren said she enrolled her daughter at the Charter School for Applied Technologies because of its reputation for excellence in education, but now she is having second thoughts.

Warren’s daughter Twanna Harp, 12, now wears a bandage on her forehead that serves as a painful reminder of her confrontation in the second floor restroom at the CMSAT.

Twanna said the confrontation started with the girls taunting her, “Saying stuff like, ‘ooh look at her hair, look at what shoes she’s got on’,” as the girls poked fun at her.

But the trash  talk turned to violence very quickly, when one of the girls grabbed the sixth grader by her hair, and shoved her, head first, into a sink.

Slamming against the porcelain sink opened a gash in Twanna’s forehead that needed 16 stitches to close up, and the 12-year-old fell unconscious in a pool of blood.

Twanna’s friend Aniya Williams came upon a crowd of students gathered outside the girl’s restroom, peering at a girl lying unconscious on the floor. Aniya discovered it was Twanna.

“Everybody is saying ‘oh it’s a girl in there,’ and I said I know, I see her and it is Twanna, and I am trying to figure out what happened. Why are the cops in here, what happened in the bathroom that there was so much blood?”

CMSAT’s principal notified Warren at work and she arrived at the school in a matter of minutes, Warren said, initially the principal was not clear about what happened to Twanna, but he eventually he clarified what caused her injury.

“That she was in a fight and that she had hit her head, and there was a big gash in her head, and he wanted to prepare me before I saw her.”

Warren suspects Twanna was targeted because she has refused to join a “crew”, or gang, at the school, and administrators need to take action.

“They said they had no idea that there was a gang in the school. So they really have to step up security inside the school so that the students can be safe.”

A spokesperson for the Charter School for Applied Technologies said the two girls identified as the aggressors in Tuesday’s incident are being held out of school, and are entitled to a superintendent’s hearing within 5 days.

At the conclusion of that hearing, they will receive the appropriate disciplinary action, which can include an in-school, or out-of-school suspension or expulsion, while Karla Warren is considering criminal charges. 

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