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Heights family outraged over super glue in hair incident

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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 4:30 am

HARKER HEIGHTS — Harker Heights High School freshman Hannah Combs loved her hair, but after a bullying incident at school last week, she had to partially shave her head. Now, her parents are calling for justice.

Hannah, 15, arrived at school Sept. 14 and met up with her friends outside the front of the building. While she was talking to one of her friends, a boy came from behind and poured super glue on her head, getting it all over her hair and her scalp.

“It instantly started burning,” Hannah said. “It felt like my head was on fire. It was horrible.”

One of Hannah’s friends called her parents while Hannah went to the nurse’s office to get treated. There, an assistant principal questioned her, but Hannah could barely speak as she waited for the pain to go away.

When Christian Grimmer, Hannah’s father, arrived, he said he became furious at the lack of action he saw from the school staff. The administration had not taken the boy into custody and did not until Grimmer threatened to call 911, according to the family. Grimmer, a retired soldier, also said an assistant principal got in his face, telling him to calm down and “take that attitude elsewhere.”

After leaving the school, Grimmer took Hannah to a doctor, who diagnosed her with a first-degree chemical burn on her scalp.

Later that evening, Hannah and her mother, Jessica Grimmer, decided to get her head shaved. The pain did not go away until Wednesday, Hannah said, and it remains sore.

“I realized I lost my favorite thing about me. I loved my hair,” Hannah said. “My hair was the only thing I liked about myself, honestly. I lost it for no reason.”

Hannah’s parents said they believe the boy should be transferred to another school. They said they attempted to contact Killeen Independent School District Superintendent John Craft but did not get a response. They contacted school board member Shelley Wells and then got a call from the assistant director of student support services, but never heard back directly from Craft.

“Apparently this guy that we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to does not see the need to get involved. Then why do we need him?” Grimmer said.

“If they are going to have assistants, that’s fine. Then we don’t need a superintendent. You would think the superintendent’s priority would be school safety, but it is not any of his concern because he will not return any calls.”

School district statement

When questioned Monday about last week’s incident by the Herald, the school district issued the following statement: “Killeen ISD is committed to ensure the safety of all students, staff and parents. Therefore, the district considers this a very serious incident and has responded in accordance to state law, board policy and the student code of conduct. In doing so, the district also protects the rights provided to students under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and thus is unable to provide information pertaining to specific students and disciplinary measures instituted.”

Killeen ISD spokesman Shannon Rideout said Monday he would reach out to Craft to let him know about the parents’ concerns.

“He has no issues talking to anyone who wants to voice their concerns and addressing them,” Rideout said.

Hannah went back to school Sept. 15, and said she found out the boy who poured glue on her received in-school suspension. However, because they have mutual friends, she still happened to see him before school started.

She also went to school Wednesday and Thursday. Hannah and her parents continued to hope that as the Harker Heights High School administration continued its investigation, the boy would eventually be taken out of school.

Code of conduct

According to the school district’s student code of conduct, the Texas Education Code requires placement into a disciplinary alternative education program or expulsion from school for certain conduct, and allows the district to make placements or expel for other offenses.

According to the code of conduct, “A student SHALL be removed from the regular campus and placed into a DAEP if the student engages in conduct containing the elements of the offense of assault (with bodily injury) under 22.01(a)(1) of the Penal Code; (27,28).”

However, the code of conduct also classifies assault as a “serious offense” punishable by campus probation along with in-school suspension. Probation constitutes as a “final warning” before setting a DAEP hearing, according to the code of conduct.

Hannah’s parents said they think the boy should be transferred. They said one of the main factors in choosing their home was to send their children to Harker Heights High School.

“I’m not going to pull my daughter out and uproot her from her life because of what this kid did to her,” Christian Grimmier said. “That child that did this to her, uproot his life. He gave up the opportunity to go to Harker Heights when he committed the act.”

On Friday, the boy returned to class. During first period, Hannah said she became anxious and scared because she has the same second period class with the boy. She made the decision to call her dad to pick her up and take her home.

When Grimmer came to pick her up, he said he became angry because the boy should not have been in school, let alone in the same class with his daughter.

The principal confronted Grimmier and told him he needed to leave. He stayed and signed his daughter out at the attendance office, at which time a Killeen Independent School District police officer gave him a trespass warning. The school did not release Hannah until her father went to the parking lot.

It was not until after Grimmer picked his daughter up that the Harker Heights administration told him they would change the boy’s class schedule.

“They are not being proactive; they are being reactive,” Grimmer said.

Facebook posts

Upset with the school system’s handling of the situation, on Friday, Jessica Grimmer posted to Facebook a description of the bullying incident and pictures of her daughter’s new haircut. To her surprise, the post started to garner attention not just locally, but from across the nation.

As of late Monday, the post had more than 7,600 likes. Jessica Grimmer also created a page on Facebook called “Justice for Hannah” that has received more than 450 likes.

The response has been just unbelievable,” Jessica Grimmer said. “There are responses from South Africa. It’s everywhere. The outpour(ing) is beautifully overwhelming.”

Hannah, who enjoys drawing and participates in her school’s Junior ROTC program, said the response on Facebook has helped her stay positive.

“It makes me want to help other people,” Hannah said. “There are people who couldn’t stand up for themselves but they talk to me about it. It makes me want to help. It’s amazing how many people are supporting me.”

Hannah’s parents said they would keep her home until Killeen ISD transferred the boy to another school. On Monday, the parents said a school administrator called to tell the family the issue had been resolved and they could send her to school.

“If he’s still there,” Jessica Grimmer said, “we will find out.”

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18 comments:

  • Johnsole posted at 3:15 pm on Thu, Oct 1, 2015.

    Johnsole Posts: 1

    Several readers intimated the girl had previously bullied the boy. I read the story twice and did not see that reported. Just wondering.

     
  • Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er posted at 7:21 am on Thu, Sep 24, 2015.

    Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er Posts: 342

    [thumbup][thumbup]

     
  • FreedomFighter posted at 4:18 am on Thu, Sep 24, 2015.

    FreedomFighter Posts: 3

    The following is a freedom of speech statement in accordance with The First Amendment with states in part Freedom of Speech is UNABRIDGED and therefore is a Right not a suggestion. Minister Dennis King


    I have lived in Texas for years and is well known for throwing around criminal trespass like candy. It is used, like in this instance, to threaten and put fear into anyone who expresses his First Amendment Rights of freedom of speech and the Fourth Amendment to protect your family.

    The father had every God given right to get angry. His daughter was physically assaulted by a bully that inflected physical harm on his daughter. I would have done the same and return fire in the face of the principal. And reminded the officer of his duty to "protect and to SERVE the public.

    It is evident that the principal did not care and very cold hearted to the core about the child but enjoyed throwing her Pacifist/communist attitude around and was completely OUT OF LINE. Her attitude is to be "yes sir and no sir" to the parents and with complete respect to the father. The principal had zero compassion and mercy as to the fathers heartfelt concern for his daughter.

    The schools are not prisons or penitentiaries and defiantly NOT a government institution. The officer behavior is as if the school is a prison and behaves as if he was a prison guard; for his response to the father is how he would act as a prison guard. As a minister I have visited jails and I know this to be very true.

    They are fortunate that the father didn't come with a Oath Keeper security personal to make sure his Constitutional Rights were not violated as it was that day. The Oath Keepers were created to protect, maintain and enforce that the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution for all Americans.


    Minister Dennis King

     
  • MWilliams posted at 9:42 pm on Wed, Sep 23, 2015.

    MWilliams Posts: 1

    First Irving and now this? What kind of rejects are these small town districts hiring? I have a friend who is having to deal with this breed of jerk. Get an attorney and sue them straight back to the Stone Age

     
  • saralee posted at 4:36 pm on Wed, Sep 23, 2015.

    saralee Posts: 2

    How do you know she was bullying him and even if she was, why does that give him the right to chemically burn her scalp?

     
  • saralee posted at 4:35 pm on Wed, Sep 23, 2015.

    saralee Posts: 2

    The subject's last name was spelled wrong at least three times in your article. I don't think your copy editor knows how to use spellcheck.

     
  • mac posted at 3:36 pm on Wed, Sep 23, 2015.

    mac Posts: 9

    I'll bet that no one has complained to the police about this yet. This young man should be sitting in a holding cell even as I type.....he should've been picked up on the grounds by the HHPD, perped walk to the Police Cruiser, placed in the back seat and taken to booking.....he, now, will only graduate on to more serious assaults until it's too late to save or rescue him from himself or his environment.....mac

     
  • Roysalazar posted at 2:17 pm on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    Roysalazar Posts: 4

    I don't understand why the police did not take the kid into custody. This was an assault with bodily injury. Were the police even called or a report made?

     
  • Dawn posted at 1:11 pm on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    Dawn Posts: 64

    Even if this girl was bullying this kid for months-what did KISD do about that in the first place? Why wasn't it recognized and reported? With all the anti-bully programs nationwide? (Is it because KISD is below standards or barely meeting the standards?) Maybe all of this could have been prevented-if that's what even happened. I have heard that KISD doesn't do much when it comes to discipline. My daughter-who has graduated from Heights a few years ago-said, "It's not even worth reporting bullying because the administrators don't do anything about it." IF bullying is the case-BOTH students should recieve the appropriate discipline. Because they both did bad things-if that is even true. We wonder why bad things happen in schools these days. It's because bad kids know nothing is going to happen to them or the punishment is too light. What happened to after school detention?- where they have to walk home or parents have to pick up their students. Parents don't even feel the consequence of their bad kid. It's too easy to be bad and hard to be good...that's just screwed up! The system needs to change and people need more compassion. Especially Mr. Craft. KISD is looking more communistic or like a monarchy with a figure head. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY‼️ We want to hear from the top people when issues like this are made public. It would promote trust and healing instead of hiding behind a desk. AND we are tired of blanket statements. BE REAL-show compassion and caring. Sounds like no one is trained in de-escalating a situation. Front office personnel should know how to talk to people to help calm them-ESPECIALLY a vice-principal-instead of what happened in this case. It went from worse to worse. You reap what you sow-KISD.

     
  • I Am posted at 11:22 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    I Am Posts: 82

    What about respect??? Do we teach our children to be assertive and show disregard for the safety of fellow students??
    Nothing this article says indicates anything about the girl being a bully but still that would not justify the conduct of the other child.

     
  • I Am posted at 10:41 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    I Am Posts: 82

    I realize that My immediate response to a incident of this magnitude would at the time My children were in their teens probably found Me in front of a judge being sentenced to a jail term. I would not have been able to contain myself with the individuals handling of this assault on one of my children!
    I admire the restraint and direction the family has taken. You Sir are a better person!

     
  • mstrgnr75 posted at 10:34 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    mstrgnr75 Posts: 5

    This is all sad, but, I do not think we have the whole story, wasnt this lady bullying the boy for months and he got fed up? What he did was wrong, but blame should be palced where it is deserved here.

     
  • Retired Sergeant Burgess posted at 10:21 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    Retired Sergeant Burgess Posts: 1

    It is ashamed that this young lady had this done to her, and who is really getting punished for a crime she did not commit. It goes to show you it does not matter how much education you have we have a lot of stupid people out there,that are running jobs they should not even be in. The Principal along with the Assistant Principal should be fired from the job or terminated which ever they want to call it. I would also be looking in to vote Craft out for the next election. This crime this young lady received should not only be answered by him in front of a judge but his family should be right there with him. Kick him out immediately.

     
  • Bubba1 posted at 8:10 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    Bubba1 Posts: 210

    The perpetrator(s) need to be arrested and prosecuted for assault. They can finish HS in jail.

    The assistant principal needs to be arrested and prosecuted for assault for "getting in the face" of a parent. Immediate reassignment to a new and exciting career at Burger King is also in order for this person.

    Guess what-the parent is the taxpayer, the property owner, the parent, and the registered voter. That makes the parent YOUR BOSS 4 times over, assistant principal. You better get with the program.

     
  • WakeUpAmerica posted at 7:55 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    WakeUpAmerica Posts: 1

    It is a shame Hannah had to go thru this. It is a shame that the KISD staff handled this matter the way they did.. I have children in the KISD and must say that I have never encountered such unprofessional administrative staff. I wonder how they got the job. I have been to the school office, left standing there because the staff was eating, talking on the phone (not official business) or just plain ignored. One time I wanted to drop something off for the teacher. I know they have mailboxes in the office. The lady told me to take it home and sent it in with the child the next day. Yes, KISD has real professionals working for them. So I can understand Hannah's parents frustration.

     
  • Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er posted at 7:33 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er Posts: 342

    [thumbup]


    I agree for SHAME on KISD...this guy should have been arrested for assaulting another student...first degree chemical burns is a serious assault.

    Her parents should sue this student for assault and future damages due to first degree chemical burns. Will her hair grow back without further damage?

    "The principal confronted Grimmier and told him he needed to leave. He stayed and signed his daughter out at the attendance office, at which time a Killeen Independent School District police officer gave him a trespass warning. The school did not release Hannah until her father went to the parking lot."

    Sounds like the victim and family are being punished for the assault. Maybe if the school had taken the assault seriously, the parent wouldn't have been irate.

    To all parents speak up...you are your child's best advocate. Ask questions and get involved. Do not allow anyone at KISD to intimidate you!

     
  • Whatabouthetruth posted at 7:16 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    Whatabouthetruth Posts: 7

    I agree 100% the criminal who done this lost the right to even go to Harker Heights High School. This young lady will now be left with the emotional scars, looks and gossip from other students instead of enjoying school. No one's child should have to endure a physical assault to which the school district makes them feel victimized all over. Charge the suspect with assault and let his parents worry about taking him to another school.

     
  • Dawn posted at 6:31 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2015.

    Dawn Posts: 64

    I am so sorry this young lady had to go through this unnecessary situation. I am so proud of her parents for taking action. Good thing non of the super glue ended up in her eyes. It's very possible that could have happened. There should be SERIOUS consequences for this student that assaulted her. My blood was boiling just reading the article. I am CERTAIN the reason there was not a response from Mr. Craft is because the district is already under scrutiny for how they handle special education. Now this. What has to happen for compassion to happen? Does someone have to die accidentally or loose their vision? This is just ridiculous-my blood just boils over hearing about the treatment of students and parents in the district. You would think educators and assistant principals would know how to handle and have compassion for a furious parent whose daughter was violated by another student. I wonder what would have happened if this student squeezed super glue on a school administrator? SHAME ON KILLEEN ISD!! SHAME-SHAME-SHAME, Disappointment. This district is looking ridiculously bad. TRUST-NONE. I bet the response from the district will be-"We are handling it." With ABSOLUTELY NO PUBLIC DETAILS on how they are handling it. This student that violated the young lady-the parents should be held liable. Parents need to ALSO take responsibility for their kids actions. If my kid violated someone-i would want to take responsibility for what they did as a minor. WHAT A STICKY SITUATION.