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Student charged with assault in bus incident

BELLAIRE — A middle school boy is facing criminal charges after allegedly trying to start a fight between two girls on his school bus.

Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry said the boy, who attends Bellaire Middle School, is being charged with two counts of assault and one count of persistent disorderly conduct. Video surveillance recorded aboard a school bus shows a boy in a red shirt grabbing a girl by her arm and swinging her into another girl in an apparent attempt to get the two girls to fight on the bus, Bellaire Local Schools Superintendent Darren Jenkins said earlier this week.

“The assault charges are being filed based on the evidence indicating he assaulted two different minor girls,” Fry said Friday. “The persistent disorderly conduct charge is based on his continuing turbulent conduct despite being instructed by the bus driver on more than one occasion to settle down and take his seat.”

Fry noted the county juvenile court will set the schedule for the boy’s appearance before a judge. The boy now is in custody at the Sargus Juvenile Detention Center in St. Clairsville.

The alleged assault occurred Sept. 13. When the bus driver realized what was happening, he radioed for assistance from the transportation supervisor. Both the supervisor and teachers met the bus at the high school, where law enforcement from the Bellaire Police Department and Belmont County Sheriff’s Department also arrived, Jenkins said previously.

Jenkins noted he could not disclose what disciplinary action was taken against the boy by the school because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. In such cases, however, the school could suspend or expel the student from riding the bus again.

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