Controversy grows after Clark County high student charged with assault

SOUTH VIENNA — A video shows a Northeastern High School student attacking a classmate, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident is creating community tension across South Vienna.

A juvenile is facing a misdemeanor assault charge as a 17-year-old recovers from surgery.

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News Center 7’s Ronnell Hunt dug into the complicated back story, involving school leadership’s handling of sexual assault allegations that appears to have led up to that alleged assault.

Deputies said that because the 17-year-old had to have surgery, they’re continuing to investigate the alleged assault.

A video from Nov. 21 captured what the incident report said is a Northeastern High School student, now facing a misdemeanor assault charge, attacking another student, George Smith Jr.

The report said he was hit 15-20 times in the face.

“It was emotional knowing that my friends sitting at the table didn’t try to help me out and stop him from attacking me,” Smith said. “I couldn’t see because I had blood in my eyes.”

He now has two broken bones, is walking with a cane and recovering from surgery to treat a severe concussion.

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“I can’t even walk to the bathroom without help,” Smith said. “I can’t even go get my food without help.”

His parents — Lisa and George Smith Sr., who is a police officer — said the assault happened after they repeatedly asked Northeastern school leaders to help for a month.

“It breaks my heart,” said Lisa.

What led up to the attack, the Smith family said, was flirting.

“The girl wasn’t offended from what I understand,” said George Sr. “[Principal Todd] Justice said, ‘It’s not a deal.’”

The sheriff’s report, obtained by News Center 7, showed the principal telling law enforcement after the attack that George Jr. had been disciplined for grabbing a female’s thigh while the two flirted.

The Smiths said that incident led to out of control, false Facebook sexual assault rumors about their son, which they say turned into threats that were not handled.

“They never even went as far as separate lunches,” George Sr. said.

But students News Center 7 talked to said the original Facebook post was accurate, including accusations that Justice did not do enough about Smith Jr. harassing multiple girls.

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Similarly, a student’s October email to the Superintendent John Kronour, obtained by News Center 7, show Kronour responded that he would “do some checking.”

That’s why some students say the student now accused of assault started reaching out to Smith Sr. on Facebook, saying, “If this continues I will gladly handle it myself, but you are his father and I am sure this is not the way you raised him.”

In the report, the juvenile told deputies he did not feel the school handled the situation the way they should have.

He also told deputies he could not take it when Smith Jr. smiled at him in the hallway.

Any accusations of sexual harassment or assault, the Smiths said, are outright false.

For safety, the parents said they have pulled both their sons out of the school district.

“I still wouldn’t want to go back to that school because of the amount of people coming up to me everyday, threatening to kick my behind over some false allegations,” George Jr. said.

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The Smith family said based on the seriousness of how badly George Jr. was hurt that they want the misdemeanor assault charge upgraded to a felony.

Kronour would not comment or make a statement on the incident.

The family of the juvenile accused of assault told News Center 7 their son’s continuing legal case means they could not comment.