UPDATE: Student’s suspension reduced, sophomore allowed to return to school

UPDATE: Student’s suspension reduced, sophomore allowed to return to school
Student says she was unfairly suspended after defending herself in fight. (Source: Michael Pelzer)

WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - A Whiteville High School student who felt she was unfairly suspended after apparently being jumped by some other students in the school gym has been allowed back to school, after a reduced suspension time frame.

Whiteville High School Sophomore Abrien Batten said she tried to walk away when some other girls wanted to fight her in the school gym last Tuesday. She says she was attacked anyway. Some of the fight was caught on camera and then posted on social media, seemingly bragging about the attack.

Whiteville student suspended after being jumped by two other students

Despite Abrien’s efforts to diffuse matters, she and five other girls involved were all given the same punishment, ten day out-of-school suspensions. Abrien, an honor student who says she has no history of disciplinary issues, was afraid the incident would kill her chances of getting into NC State University and one day becoming a veterinarian.

“I don’t get in trouble. I focus on my education for my future career, but I feel like with this happening now, it could mess up my future goals that I have," Abrien said through tears after being suspended.

Abrien’s mother says she got an email from the school board after they met Monday night, stating Abrien was allowed to return to school Tuesday — earlier than the previously imposed suspension would have allowed.

Whiteville City Schools’ Superintendent Marc Whichard said he cannot discuss details of a specific student incident, but confirms they did receive additional information that allowed them to reduce the length of this suspension.

Whichard also wanted to make it clear that short term suspensions do not go on a student’s official transcript that they use when applying to colleges, only expulsions.

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