Superintendent: Sweetwater High staffer involved in fight 'no longer employed' with district
SWEETWATER, Texas - The truancy prevention coordinator at Sweetwater High School who was involved in a pep rally fight with a student late last week is "no longer employed with the district," Sweetwater ISD Superintendent George McFarland said Friday. McFarland didn't specify if Curt Crisp had been fired or resigned, but said the investigation into the incident is ongoing. --- VIDEO OF FIGHT: http://www.ktxs.com/news/625012724 --- Sweetwater Police Chief Brian Frieda said his staff is continuing to work with the Texas Ranger who has been assigned to investigate the case. The incident happened during a pep rally last Friday morning, and video showed a teenage student getting into a shoving match in the bleachers with a staffer, who witnesses have identified as Crisp. The two ultimately wrestle down before additional staffers jumped in to restrain them. Crisp had been placed on administrative leave prior to him leaving the district. Last week, Frieda said his department is involving the aide of the Texas Rangers for "the simple fact that they are a neutral investigative party." "We don't want anyone thinking Sweetwater PD isn't doing due diligence, we are," Frieda told KTXS. "We're going to make sure everything is done with full transparency." KTXS will provide additional details as they become available. Previous story: A fight between a Sweetwater High School student and a school staffer is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, and while video has circulated social media, it doesn't show what led up to the altercation. It happened during a pep rally Friday morning, and video shows the teenage student get into a shoving match in the bleachers with a staffer, whom witnesses have identified as Truancy Prevention Coordinator Curt Crisp. The two then wrestle down before additional staffers jump in to restrain them. --- VIDEO -} http://www.ktxs.com/news/625012724 --- However, we don't know what started the fight, but Sweetwater Police Chief Brian Frieda says the Department of Public Safety's Texas Rangers are working with the school to collect video and details about the incident. "What we're looking to do is we're going to involve the aide of the Texas Rangers for the simple fact that they are a neutral investigative party," Frieda said. "We don't want anyone thinking Sweetwater PD isn't doing due diligence, we are. We're going to make sure everything is done with full transparency." Frieda said the school district is being "very forthcoming and working with us." Frieda said the student, who hasn't been identified, was referred to county juvenile probation services, who will decide whether to hold him in custody until a detention hearing or release him to his parents. He said that's standard and a normal referral. The staffer, Frieda said, has been placed on paid administrative leave until further notice. Frieda said the Rangers will develop the case, determine who's responsible, and recommend the filing of charges, if any, at that time. Sweetwater ISD Superintendent Dr. George McFarland issued the following statement Friday evening: " At the Sweetwater High School pep rally this morning, a student and a member of the Sweetwater ISD staff got into a physical altercation. Pursuant to the District's customary personnel practices, an investigation was initiated into the matter to determine the culpability of the parties involved. In this case, pending the outcome of its internal investigation, SISD took the further action of notifying local and state law enforcement officials of the incident. Sweetwater ISD will continue to cooperate with state and local law enforcement to the fullest extent permitted by law. The employee involved in the altercation has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the District's internal investigation.
State and federal law prohibit the District from disclosing personally identifiable student information, as well as confidential personnel information; consequently, the District cannot provide further information on this matter. The District takes this incident very seriously and will take all measures necessary to ensure that its students are educated in a safe and nurturing environment."