Law enforcement investigating an assault at Willard Middle School

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:31 AM CDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 5:03 PM CDT
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WILLARD, Mo. (KY3) - Law enforcement is investigating an assault at Willard Middle School.

The incident happened on Tuesday between two students. Parents say students witnessed the assault. School officials say they are working closely with law enforcement and plan to take appropriate disciplinary action. School officials did not release any information about injuries in the assault.

One parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, says change needs to happen.

“I would say that change needs to happen, and it needs to happen fast,” said the Willard School District parent. “We started with fights. We are to the point now where children are getting hospitalized. We need to make changes.”

The district shared an email with parents Tuesday night regarding the assault.

“There was an assault today, Tuesday, May 10, at the Middle School. Please note that the school district is working with appropriate law enforcement with their investigation and will take appropriate disciplinary action. As we are not legally allowed to go into extensive details, we ask for your patience in this matter. As a District, it is our continued mission to serve our students and provide them with the best and safest educational environment possible. We thank you all for your understanding and patience as we navigate these difficult times in all of education.”

Shawna Lannan Wheatman said her son attends the middle school and was concerned.

“Very sickening feeling, knowing that I have to send my child somewhere that’s supposed to be safe, and he’s not safe,” said Lannan Wheatman.

Lannan Wheatman said her son had “alarming” news after getting home.

“My son came home yesterday off the bus and was very distraught about what had happened,” said Lannan Wheatman.

The parents we spoke with have the same story.

“In this particular hallway, there are no teachers, and there’s always fights there that happen,” said Lannan Wheatman.

Parents said one child violently beat up another over a shirt in the lost and found. The parents say the injured child went to the hospital in serious condition.

This parent didn’t want to be on camera but said her child saw it happen.

“Injuries was that his jaw was not in the correct place possibly dislocated,” said the Willard School District parent. “It appeared that he was having a seizure and foaming out of the mouth. It looked like something was wrong with his legs.”

Willard Public Schools will not confirm any details these parents shared with us, including an update on the child’s injuries. A spokesperson would say that two people were involved, there was an assault, and it’s an internal investigation. They would not give details on any discipline.

Lannan Wheatman said she wasn’t surprised.

“The lack of communication from the school to the parents is very poor,” said Lannan Wheatman. “They need to communicate better. These are our children. They belong to us.”

Lannan Wheatman said there needs to be a change, or more kids could get hurt.

“He doesn’t feel safe,” said Lannan Wheatman. “So what’s that going to do for his learning? Is it going to involve him not paying attention? Because he’s worried about his safety?”

The Willard Police Department is not handling the investigation. The district employs its own police force.

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