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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Board meets to discuss recent tragedy at Pennbrook Middle School

Kate Miller
The board meets for their monthly action meeting to discuss recent assault at Pennbrook Middle School.

LANSDALE – On Thursday, April 18th, the North Penn School Board held their monthly action meeting for the month of April. Due to unfortunate events that took place within the past 48 hours at Pennbrook Middle School, the board steered away from the traditional structure of an action meeting and gave concerned citizens a block of time to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns about the situation at hand.

On Wednesday afternoon, at Pennbrook Middle School, a student was attacked by another student during school hours, prompting a significant school district and community response.

The board extended the small amount of time usually allotted for public comment to a 90-minute block, where students, parents, and members of the North Penn community were given the opportunity to speak freely to the board for approximately three minutes.

Before the board gave the floor to the audience for public comment, Superintendent Dr. Todd Bauer shared a statement with both those watching in-person or tuning in virtually.


Below is the full text of the statement: 

“Yesterday, at Pennbrook Middle School, a seventh grade student was attacked by another student. The event was deeply disturbing and the student was taken to the hospital as a result of her injuries. After speaking with the family on multiple occasions over the last twenty-four hours, I am grateful to share that this student had returned home last evening and is recovering. This should not have happened. As an educator, as your superintendent, and as a father, I am appalled by what happened. We are currently pursuing the details leading up to this incident and why it occurred. We are also collaborating with our local law enforcement in their investigation, as we work to ensure that something like this cannot happen in our schools. Such behavior has no place in our schools. You expect better, we expect better, and certainly I do as well. Every parent has the right to send their child to school and for their child to feel safe. As a result of yesterday’s incident, I do recognize and understand why some of you did not feel that way this morning. Since yesterday afternoon, I have spent significant time speaking with both families involved. I am working with these families, in collaboration with others here, to support them and their children as we navigate this regrettable incident. I also spent time this morning at Pennbrook, meeting with students, staff, administration, and a few families, listening to their concerns. We will continue to provide any and all support that is necessary over the next few days, and for as long as needed. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of inaccurate information that is circulating, and it’s important to note that both of these students and their families have a federal right to privacy. Additionally, any discipline matter of this significance necessitates that we afford students due process and that we conduct the appropriate hearings and proceedings, in a specific manner. Out of respect for both of these families, and their right to confidentiality, I will not be making any further comment on the matter this evening, but please do not perceive my lack of response to your comments as a lack of genuine and sincere care. When I do have permission to share further information, from the families and other authorities, I will do so. Lastly, in speaking with both families as late as this afternoon, they are requesting that you respect their privacy as well,” Bauer stated.

Full Coverage of NPSB Meeting from 4/18/24 - North Penn Television

Collectively, the board decided they would not be responding to any comments made during public comment during the action meeting in respect for the privacy of the families and ongoing legal investigation.

A large group of North Penn students, parents, and community members spoke out during the meeting. Students who witnessed the incident spoke out about what they experienced.. Students shared visual details of the assault that may be triggering for individuals reading.

“All of a sudden you just hear these terrible loud bangs of the Stanley bouncing off her head, and then you see [student] grabbing her hair and hitting her against the table, and repeatedly hitting her with the Stanley. There was blood everywhere,” A 7th grade student at Pennbrook Middle School shared.

Many concerned parents also spoke to the board to discuss their concerns about safety within North Penn schools.

“I called the schools on two separate occasions, on Monday and Tuesday, to inform them of this child who was going to curb-stomp my daughter, or make my daughter bite the curb, and I was assured that my daughter was safe and assured it was handled and taken care of. I wasn’t called and was followed up with a generic email,” an infuriated Pennbrook parent expressed.

Parents also spoke out about their disappointment with how the incident was communicated to the families of Pennbrook Middle School.

“I want to start off with saying, I think it was really disrespectful how it was communicated to us through email yesterday, by the principal. Not to mention, how totally disrespectful it was to the child and her parents who had to receive that email as well, calling this a fight, when we all know clearly this was not a fight, it was an attack on this child,” a concerned Pennbrook parent voiced.

Community members expressed that although disciplinary action is in order, they hope this students receives the help that they need throughout this process.

“What’s going to be done to help rehab the child that did the attack? I don’t know if home life is bad, I don’t know what is wrong, but this child needs help,” a Pennbrook parent questioned.

Dr. Bauer has scheduled times today to meet with the students that spoke at the meeting, and opened an invitation to any student that needs support through this unfortunate time. The district will continue to support all parties involved in the matter and support members of the district to the best of their ability. 

The live video taping of the meeting can be found on NPTV. All further documents regarding the rest of the action meeting can be found on BoardDocs.

The board will meet again for their monthly finance meeting on Tuesday, May 7th, 2024.

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  • M

    MinaApr 20, 2024 at 7:28 pm

    Was the attacking student a male as reported?

    • L

      Lauren WolfeApr 23, 2024 at 12:51 pm

      I believe the student identifies as a transgender female.