Concord elementary student has concussion after 'playground scuffle'

A fight between three students at Concord South Side Elementary sent one child to the hospital.

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.

A 9-year-old Concord South Side Elementary student was taken to the hospital earlier this week after what the school referred to as "a playground scuffle."

Parents Joseph and Sarah Lake got a call from South Side's school nurse Tuesday afternoon, April 15.

"She said that some boys had got around my son and beat him in the head," Sarah Lake said. "She said if we couldn't get there in the next 15 minutes she would call an ambulance."

The parents rushed to the school, where they noticed their son was slurring his speech and didn't seem aware of his surroundings. They took him to IU Health Goshen, where they said a doctor diagnosed the boy with a concussion.

Sarah Lake said Wednesday that her son is feeling better, but she's afraid to send him back to school.

She was frustrated that she had not been able to talk to the school principal, and administrators she did speak with offered little detail on what happened.

Superintendent Wayne Stubbs released a statement about the incident.

It said, in part, that three students became involved in a playground scuffle during recess on Tuesday, and one student required outside medical evaluation.

"Building administrators investigated the incident and determined that the three students initially pushed each other, as mutual horseplay," Stubbs said in the statement.

Several punches were thrown, but "adults immediately intervened and took the injured student to the nurse," according to the statement.

Sarah Lake said her son and his cousin, who also goes to the school and was on the playground at the time of the fight, had to go find a teacher to get help.

"We want to find out for one, why couldn't our son find a teacher?" she said. "Why were these kids able to get so many blows to our son’s head with only a few students watching?"

Joseph Lake, the boy's father, filed a report with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday.

The family plans to pursue legal action against the school and possibly the other students involved, Sarah Lake said.

But they have never been in a situation like this before, and they are not sure what to do, she said.

Superintendent Stubbs noted in his statement that disciplinary action was taken after administration investigated the incident and spoke with all three students involved.

"As is our practice, parents were notified of their right to pursue the matter with the sheriff's department; Concord Schools understands that a complaint was filed," Stubbs said. "So far, Concord Schools has not received any requested updates from the injured students' parents."

Sarah Lake said that when she spoke to school administration the day after the incident, she was assured that student safety is the school's priority.

However, she feels that has not been the case for her son.

"We picked him up from school before because he was crying because he had gotten bullied...we thought this was over with," she said, clarifying that an earlier incident involved teasing.

The boy did return to school Thursday after school administration told his parents the other students involved in the incident would not be at school that day.

"But eventually those kids will come back, and that's where it gets hazy for us," she said. "He can't be in class with those kids, he can't."

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks


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