District: Students in fight won't be expelled

Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 20:50:16-05

San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten took a strong stance regarding the fate of two students charged in the beating of a campus officer at Lincoln High School.

Marten spoke to the mother of one of the students involved in the Feb. 26 fight, and she reassured the student's mother that she's not turning her back on them.

RELATED: Charges for two teens arrested in Lincoln High brawl

"I'm there for you," Marten told the mother. "Thank you for trusting us."

In a Friday news conference, Marten said that "no students will be expelled" over the incident.

Instead, the school district will take what is called a restorative approach -- offering the students access to education and making sure college plans are not railroaded during their legal battle. Punishment for the students could come in the form of community service or suspension.

"We believe our children belong in school and deserve their education," Marten said.

Marten's position was praised by clergy and community leaders in attendance.

RELATED: Lincoln HS deals with aftermath of riot, arrest

Cellphone video shows the altercation in which a student was stunned by an officer's stun gun. Students allegedly beat the campus officer so severely he was knocked unconscious and is still in a wheelchair.

One 16-year-old was released by a judge on home supervision, charged with felony counts of assaulting an officer.

The National Action Network demanded the campus officer not return to the school and the district attorney show the surveillance video.

RELATED: Campus police officer hurt in fight at Lincoln High School; 5 students hospitalized

"We need the district attorney to stop playing 'hocus pocus' with the videotape. We need to see the videotape because it clearly acknowledges what really happened on the campus," said Rev. Shane Harris, president of the National Action Network.

Earlier this week, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis directed Marten not to release the surveillance video to the public due to the ongoing investigation.