On Thursday, August 24, 2023, an altercation involving multiple students took place at the St. Croix Central High School Campus. In response to the severity of the situation, an ambulance was called. However, the guardian chose to privately transport the student in need of medical attention. The incident is currently under active investigation by the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE). It has been classified as a Level 4 Infraction.
All students identified as participants in the altercation have been suspended from school in accordance with the Board of Education’s Student Discipline Policy. Public school students are obligated to adhere to the policies of the Virgin Islands Board of Education and the regulations set forth by the Virgin Islands Department of Education. Level 4 Infractions are considered serious violations that significantly affect the well-being of students and the school itself. Such actions and related incidents can lead to expulsion pending a disciplinary hearing, in accordance with the Board of Education’s Policy.
"We are aware that videos of the recent incident at St. Croix Central High School have circulated throughout our community. This incident is deeply troubling and completely unacceptable within our school campuses. One of the VIDE's foremost priorities is ensuring that students can learn in safe environments. When incidents occur, school officials and our monitors immediately activate safety and security protocols. We are continuously evaluating and enhancing our response procedures and personnel deployment for school fights and campus lockdowns,” stated Commissioner Dionne Wells-Hedrington.
Commissioner Wells-Hedrington further added, “It is important to recognize that various factors contribute to school violence, and addressing it requires the collective effort of administrators, teachers, parents, students, and the community. We must address the root causes that lead to violent acts, many of which originate off-campus and spill over into our schools. We seek the support of parents and guardians as we move forward."
"In a matter of days, the St. Croix District has faced two serious incidents that have disrupted the Claude O. Markoe Elementary School and the St. Croix Central High School campuses. The VIDE maintains a zero tolerance policy for acts of violence and any situation that may jeopardize student safety. Our schools are dedicated to instruction and learning, and there is no room for fights or violence. We appreciate the ongoing assistance of the Virgin Islands Police Department as a crucial response resource while we address these issues," commented St. Croix Insular Superintendent, Dr. Ericilda Ottley-Herman.
“The Disaster Planning and School Safety Division continues to work diligently to ensure that our school monitors are trained to respond to and manage these situations as they arise. Our top priority is safeguarding the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff," emphasized Irvin R. Mason, Director of Disaster Planning and School Security.
The Virgin Islands Department of Education is resolute in its commitment to prevention and intervention efforts aimed at supporting students across the territory. The VIDE will continue to invest in measures to keep student safety at the forefront of school protocols and policies.
Download press release here: pdf Press Release 0807 23 VIDE Officials Respond to Violent Incident Involving Students (154 KB)