Father of injured student obtains restraining orders
Editor’s Note: On Monday, reporters and editors at The Telegraph watched videos posted to social media that seem to show a female student punching another female student at Fairgrounds Middle School in Nashua. We chose not to publish videos, or still images taken from the videos, because they depict violence against a juvenile. We continue to refrain from using the videos or images extracted from the videos. We also will not use the name of the student who appears to be attacked in the videos. However, we will now use the name of the man who posted the videos to social media.
NASHUA – “Things are going to change – that is my goal,” Chad LaCrosse, father of a student at Fairgrounds Middle School, told The Telegraph on Wednesday.
As the situation at Fairgrounds continues to unfold, there are now problems of an unspecified nature at Elm Street Middle School. A document obtained by The Telegraph late Wednesday shows that Nashua School District Superintendent Jahmal Mosley has placed Elm Street Middle School Principal Ian Atwell and Assistant Principal Kelly Holmes on administrative leave, effective immediately.
The document does not state why the principals have been placed on leave.
Current Nashua High School South Assistant Principal Lesa McQuesten has been assigned as acting principal at Elm Street, while Nashua High School North Assistant Principal Jason Lonergan has been assigned to serve as acting assistant principal at Elm Street.
Mosley states he plans to address staff at the school at 2:45 p.m. today.
Meanwhile, at Fairgrounds, LaCrosse is trying to protect his daughter. On Monday, he circulated videos on social media that show a girl being pulled to the ground by her hair and repeatedly punched in the face at Fairgrounds Middle School.
On Tuesday, believing he had nowhere else to turn, LaCrosse took the fairly unusual step of taking his daughter to Nashua district court to file for restraining orders against the two alleged assailants. Judge Elizabeth Leonard granted the orders, which are both titled “stalking temporary orders of protection” and are nearly identical.
The orders are in effect until at least Oct. 23, when the two alleged perpetrators are to attend an 11 a.m. hearing in the district court. The alleged victim is also scheduled to attend the hearing, at which she and the other two girls can testify before the judge.
In the meantime, the girls accused of attacking LaCrosse’s daughter must stay at least 300 feet from her at all times. They are also prohibited from having any contact with her by any means, including in person, through a third party, by phone, or via social media.
The girls are also ordered to stay away from any place the alleged victim may be, including Fairgrounds Middle School – which presumably means the alleged assailants cannot be on the Fairgrounds campus if LaCrosse’s daughter is there.
They also cannot go near the girl’s residence, nor follow her, and “shall not stalk, or abuse” members of her family, according to the order.
According to LaCrosse, meanwhile, the bullying began on Sept. 26 when threats were made that his daughter was going to be jumped at the school by a group of girls with whom she had previously been friends. A video was filmed the next day by one of the girls. This appears to show LaCrosse’s daughter being grabbed by the hair and punched in the face more than 10 times.
Threats continued and just more than a week later, LaCrosse’s daughter was once again targeted the bullies. This time, it was a different girl in the group who allegedly attacked his daughter, and allegedly punched her more than 25 times.
The second alleged attack, which took place Monday, was also filmed by a student.
As a result of Monday’s ambush, LaCrosse said, his daughter suffered a concussion and possibly a cracked rib.
LaCrosse believes this pattern of behavior is similar to that of a “gladiator school.”
“It’s what they do in prison. Four or five people are working together to attack someone – that’s what they’re doing to my daughter,” LaCrosse said.
The threats did not stop with Monday’s incident, LaCrosse said. Since then, multiple threats have been made to one of his daughter’s friends, allegedly by the same group of girls.
“My daughter’s friend was threatened Tuesday,” LaCrosse said. “(Administrators) told her she should consider changing schools.'”
LaCrosse has discovered through spreading these videos that he and his daughter are not alone.
“Right now, more and more students and parents are reaching out to me. They’ve dealt with this in this school, in particular, these girls in particular, multiple times,” LaCrosse said.
“I’ve had meetings with the principal, but the repercussions have been very minimal, in my opinion. The girls should be expelled. If you have a group of kids working together as a gang, it’s called gladiator school. When people are working together and strategically collaborating to plan attacks, that’s called gladiator school. It’s what they do in prisons. That’s what gangs do,” he added.
LaCrosse said he and another parent met with Mosley on Wednesday morning to discuss what would be done.
In a prepared Monday statement, Mosley said students engaging in these types of incidents are disciplined according to the Discipline Policy of the Nashua School District (JIC).
“Any student involved in this or any subsequent incidents (fighting or recording a fight) will have consequences,” Mosley said.
“We want every student who attends Fairgrounds Middle School and all Nashua District schools to be safe and we will not condone any acts of violence and videotaping any acts of violence,” Mosley added.
“The bottom line is (my daughter) was jumped again by this group of girls who are using this gladiator school techniques to distract girls and attack them – and you’re still allowing this pattern and behavior in your school,” LaCrosse said.
Despite the attacks, LaCrosse is still encouraging his daughter to go to school.
“I know that it’s hard, but as an adult, we run into situations in life constantly where we’re getting knocked down and we have to suck it up and do what we have to do to succeed in life,” LaCrosse said.
He said he also doesn’t want to show weakness to the bullies by having his daughter skip school.
“I want to set the image that we’re going to go to school and we’re going to keep pushing forward and we’re going to pursue this legally,” LaCrosse said. “We’re going to go about it the right way. I’m not going to encourage her to fight these girls.”
LaCrosse said he isn’t stopping until action is taken.
“My push is to have the girls expelled. If the school can’t implement that and is not willing to implement that, I am going to continue to push that with the judge,” LaCrosse said.
Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256.