Sto-Rox High School principal Dr. Melanie Kerber had nothing to say about a magistrate’s hearing for eight students involved in a fight this fall.
“Forty-five days my daughter has missed her senior year,” says Angela Wofford, mother of one of the suspended students.
Eight teenage girls and their moms had been waiting for this chance to be heard since September.
That was the day Principal Kerber called a dozen girls to her office for a mediation that became a melee with pushing and “over-the-top” verbal exchanges.
Police were called. There was yelling, running in the halls and a security guard got a small scratch on his hand. There was a lot of confusion.
“One adult was telling them to go back to class, the security guard was telling them to leave the building, the principal was telling them to leave,” Wofford said.
The girls were given a 10-day suspension.
Then criminal charges were filed, including harassment, disorderly conduct and terroristic threats and an additional 45-day suspension was given – 55 days total.
Some of the girls are seniors and honor students.
Another parent, Jennifer Walker was equally upset.
“No one has questioned the principal about her poor judgment in all of this and her neglect of the parent’s wishes in this,” she said.
“I was a good student – I was still a little loud – but that was just me,” Esa Walker, one of the suspended students, said.
None of the parents defends their daughters’ acting out, but say all of their attempts to contact school district administrators were rebuffed.
Tuesday’s hearing was postponed for 90 days. In the meantime, the girls will go back to regular high school classes.
If there’s no more problems and they maintain good grades, the DA’s office or police would consider withdrawing all charges
Jennifer Walker still contends that the way they’ve been treated by the district is unacceptable.
“A lot of poor need to understand you gotta make complaints because we ain’t got money for lawyers, we ain’t got money for civil lawyers, so all we got is an official written down complaint,” Walker said.
The Sto-Rox superintendent did not return a call asking for comment. The girls are due back in court in February.
High School principal Dr. Kerber has her own date in court next month. She was charged with drunk driving in October by police in Upper St. Clair.