School Climate & Safety

Girl Dies After Fight in Delaware High School Restroom

By Evie Blad — April 21, 2016 1 min read
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A 16-year-old Delaware girl died Thursday from injuries she sustained in a fight with classmates in her high school’s restroom.

The New Castle County Vo-Tech School District didn’t give the name of the student involved in the fight, which occurred at Howard High School of Technology just as classes started Thursday. No weapons were used in the fight, but the girl was seriously injured, the district said in a statement.

The girl was airlifted to a hospital by helicopter, where she later died.

“This is not only an unspeakable tragedy for her family, but also for the school, and the entire community,” the statement said. “We express our prayers and deepest sympathy to her family, who need your support and sensitivity at this time.”

Investigators from the Wilmington Police Department‘s homicide and violent crime units conducted interviews Thursday about the circumstances surrounding the incident, the department said in a news release.

The school dismissed students early Thursday and plans to offer counseling to students.

“I’m so upset that the young lady lost her life today,” Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams said at an emotional press conference. “Things like this shouldn’t happen. My heart bleeds for the family, the kids that go to this school, administrators, and our city.”

Rates of School Violence

Howard “is not known as a violent school,” Delaware Online reported.

“Last year, seven violent felonies were reported at the school, as well as 14 incidents of fighting or disorderly conduct, according to Department of Education,” the paper reported. “In the previous four years, only three violent felonies total were reported there.”

In Delaware, 9.3 percent of high school students reported being in a fight on school grounds the year before they took a 2013 survey, according to the most recent federal data available. That’s close to the national average of 8.1 percent.

Nationwide, there were 15 homicides of youths ages 5-18 at schools during the 2011-12 school year, according to that data. In 2013, there were 37.4 of incident of violent victimization at school for every 1,000 public school students, the data show.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.