State's attorney weighs reports on bullying at Bismarck-Henning High
BISMARCK — The Vermilion County state's attorney's office is reviewing reports from the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department's investigation into an alleged bullying incident at Bismarck-Henning High School.
State's Attorney Randy Brinegar said Tuesday that he has the reports from sheriff's investigators, and he is in the process of reviewing them but has made no decision yet.
"I'm not sure if I will ask for any follow-up or not," he said in regard to possibly seeking more information before making a decision. "I need to review it further."
Rod Kaag, chief investigator with the sheriff's office, said Monday that there's no evidence of sexual assault, and the department's information from the investigation was turned over late Friday to the state's attorney's office, which is the normal procedure with any investigation.
Brinegar said Tuesday that he cannot comment on whether there's any evidence of sexual assault. The incident involves four Bismarck-Henning High students who allegedly attacked another high school student and grabbed him inappropriately in the boys' locker room during school hours last week. The four students were suspended last week for eight days, but the parents of the suspended students requested a hearing before the school board to appeal the suspensions.
The school board met for more than five hours Monday night in closed session to hear from the students involved and their parents. More than 50 members of the public — including students, parents, community members and others — gathered in the high school library awaiting the school board's decision Monday night. After the long closed session, the school board upheld the eight-day suspension of the four students.
Grant Hughes, the father of the student who was attacked, said he was disappointed that school officials did not recommend to the school board a more severe discipline. He said he would like to have seen the students expelled for the remainder of the school year and sent to an alternative school where they could receive counseling.
Hughes said he and his family will now await a decision from the state's attorney's office.