On August 8th, three Lakeside, Arizona teens allegedly targeted a 19-year-old recent graduate from Blue Ridge High School. The teen girl lured the man to Show Low Lake at approximately 10 p.m. At the meet-up, she and the two teen boys assaulted him in what appears to be a planned attack.
The damage from the assault led to the need of the 19-year-old victim to be flown to a Phoenix hospital for immediate treatment. The teen remains in critical condition
According to Show Low police, all three teens were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and aggravated assault. The teenage girl may face an additional felony charge of facilitation.
The teens were released into the custody of their parents. The lack of action from the school district sparked complaints from parents and students over what they believed to be a dismiss of the district’s code of conduct.
The school district immediately defended their actions, stating “off-campus conduct usually falls within the zone of parental responsibility rather than the school’s responsibility.” They felt the district had limitations in whether they could discipline students for off-campus activities.
A large community outcry resulted in a protest organized in front of the high school on Aug. 11, with community members asking for justice in the assault.
All schools in the Blue Ridge Unified School District closed their campuses that day, citing “unspecified threats, and possible vandalism and destruction of the education process.”
As a result, Monday afternoon, more than one week after the three Lakeside teens were arrested on suspicion of violently assaulting a former peer, the Blue Ridge Unified School District announced the teens have been withdrawn from school.
School superintendent Dr. Michael Wright said the three students — a 17-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, have been withdrawn from Blue Ridge High School by their parents as a result of the public outcry on the assault.
“We hope that our community will move forward unitedly to support our students and staff, who wish to return to school and have a sense of normalcy,” Wright said in a Facebook post.
Days after federal and local law enforcement’s investigation into the threats, law enforcement agencies found “no credible pending threats,” and the announcement was made that classes on all campuses are set to resume Tuesday morning.