Parents’ concerns growing over reported violence, lack of discipline at Pinellas school

LARGO, Fla.—Since the beginning of the year, Seminole Middle School has called the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office more than 100 times. According to a six-page report, many of those calls were for assault and battery.

“This stuff, it happens all day, you can see it happens all day,” says one parent Lindsey Trimble.

In fact, it happened again on Thursday to Scott Williams’s daughter. He tells News Channel 8 she is a straight-A student, involved in several school activities—she is not a trouble maker.

“The girl walked up to her in the room and punched her in the face, and their solution was to suspend my daughter,” he says.

Zachary Noveck is an 8th grader who saw it happen and claims it’s not the first fight at the school he’s witnessed.

“They’ve been disrespectful, acting crazy like they don’t have any brains at all,” he says.

For more than a week, parents have called 8 On Your Side, blaming the administration for a lack of discipline.

“The kids run this school, not the principal and the school board members. The kids are running this school,” says Williams.

Another mom describes students behavior from the stories her son takes home.

“We’re talking lewd behavior, we’re talking disruptions, kids banging rocks. I don’t know what happened this year,” she says.

With the help of the sheriff’s office, News Channel 8 discovered that ten arrests have been made this school year at Seminole Middle School. Three of those arrests were from a fight recently caught on camera that showed kids pushing down a teacher.

Parents like Scott Williams are at their wit’s end.

“I am upset. I am very much considering taking my daughter out of school this year and being done,” he says.

While the sheriff’s office could not comment on the amount of calls made this year from the school, other school districts around the Tampa Bay area told us 100 times in four months is very concerning.

The school district and the principal, Wendy Bryan continue to decline requests for an on-camera interview, but say they are listening to parental concerns and working on a solution.


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