News Update

Douglass student charged in beating of football teammate – Baltimore Sun (blog)

A member of Frederick Douglass High School’s football team was charged with attempted murder Thursday in a brutal attack on a teammate, thrusting the school once again into an unwanted national spotlight.

The attack, which left the victim hospitalized and facing surgery, was captured on video and posted online. In it, a student is seen repeatedly punching another in the head and face and then stomping on the bloodied teen’s head.

School system officials suspended activities at Douglass, and more than a dozen city police officers and a Foxtrot helicopter were sent to oversee Thursday afternoon’s dismissal.

The attention to Douglass — the second-oldest integrated school in the nation, which boasts alumni such as former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall — comes as the West Baltimore school is seeking to reclaim its identity as a nationally recognized success story.

Douglass had been recognized as a model last year by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for its improvements in reducing suspensions, increasing attendance and creating programs.

But the school became a backdrop to the unrest that erupted in April after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a severe spinal injury while in police custody. Douglass students were among the protesters who engaged in a violent exchange with police at Mondawmin Mall, which is across the street from the school. Officials blamed the incident for sparking riots and looting across the city.

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