School official seen on video restraining student by neck

KINGSTREE, SC (WCBD) — A high school official in Kingstree who was caught on cell phone video using a choke-hold on a 15-year-old student could face a criminal charge.

Media outlets report the incident started Monday as a fight between two girls at Kingstree Senior High School. A police report says that in cell phone footage, 69-year-old Assistant Principal Mack Burgess can be seeing trying to separate the girls. The report says that as the fight continued, Burgess grabbed one girl’s neck from behind.

The video shows that after several seconds in the choke-hold, the girl went limp. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

A Kingstree police sergeant and magistrate say enough evidence exists for an arrest warrant for Burgess on one count of third-degree assault and battery. Currently, no one has been arrested.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Burgess has an attorney.

The school district issued the following statement:

We have several programs in place to assist our students in resolving conflicts without physical contact. Our Rehabilitative Behavior Health Specialists, Intervention Specialists, (on-site) Mental Health Specialists and Guidance Counselors work closely with students to address numerous issues throughout the year to include Conflict Resolution.

The district is investigating this incident and working cooperatively with local authorities.”

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