MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Shelton High School basketball fight, ‘running drill’ leaves students with broken bones

Feb 4, 2024, 9:53 AM

shelton basketball fight...

A photo of Shelton High School's athletic fields. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Parents said they are concerned about student safety following a Shelton High School basketball fight, and an alleged ‘running drill’ that left students with concussions and broken bones.

Basketball Fight

Shelton police told KIRO 7 News that a criminal citation was issued to an 18-year-old Shelton High School basketball player after police said she had assaulted an opposing player during a basketball game.

The suspect is scheduled to appear before a judge, police said.

Police said the assault happened at Shelton High School, located on Shelton Springs Road, on Wednesday, January 31, at about 8 p.m.

Shelton High School was hosting visiting Aberdeen High School.

A video recording captured the moment when two players scrambled for the basketball. Moments later, a Shelton High School player begins punching the opposing player several times on the basketball floor, before she is pulled away.

The opposing player is seen on the court trying to recover.



According to a police document, an employee at the school told police that the victim was evaluated by the school’s medic. She was OK and did not have a concussion, the worker told police.

As officers left the scene, police said the father of the victim approached them and showed them a recording of the assault.

KIRO 7 News received body camera footage capturing this interaction.

Within the video, the father told officers this was not the first violent incident involving the 18-year-old Shelton High School player.

Sone, the father of the victim, told KIRO 7 News on the phone that he wants the school district to address student safety, including visiting players. He shared the following statement with KIRO 7 News.

“It’s a shame to continue to put safety aside and continuing the things they are doing is just going to impact future generations moving forward. Any visiting parent shouldn’t have to be worried about their child at a sporting event at their school for their kid to be assaulted,” he said.

He also said the incident impacts the entire community, not just those directly involved.

“The tax money from the local communities when visiting teams come, they stop and eat there. They stop and get snacks before the game. That helps out their community. If teams refuse to play there, it only affects their school,” he added.

The Mason County Prosecutor’s Office is currently looking into the case, police told KIRO 7 News.

We reached out to the prosecutor’s office to get more details about the suspect’s court hearing. We’re still waiting to hear back.

KIRO 7 News reached out to the Shelton School District to get its response. A spokesperson said the district has no comment.

Parents

KIRO 7 News spoke with parents who were picking up their children at Shelton High School on Friday to get their thoughts about the assault.

“That’s shocking. That’s horrible. It really is. I would be afraid that my daughter would be a victim of that,” said Rita Snow, a mother. “How’s that victim going to go to school? She’ll be afraid.”

Snow said her daughter, along with other students, should be able to attend school or school-related activities without fearing for their safety.

“Has my daughter been exposed to any of that, and I haven’t been told?” She added, “It’s really scary to think you send your child to school for education and they get attacked.”

Jennifer Sarda, a mother, told KIRO 7 News, “That’s pretty disturbing that would happen in our community.”

“I feel like they (Shelton High School) have good transparency on what’s going on, but what actually happens behind closed doors, you don’t know if kids are getting disciplined well enough,” she added.

Alleged incident leaving students injured

The basketball fight happened the day after an alleged incident left a number of students with concussions and broken bones at Shelton High School.

Parents told KIRO 7 News that the school’s head football coach filled in during a weight-lifting class and held an impromptu “running drill.”

“It was a running drill that’s what it was. He was tired of them running to the outside for their football plays. He wanted them to run up the middle. And he had other kids waiting to tackle them as they ran,” said Donnie Rooks, who said his child was part of the class.

“No helmets. No pads. All that stuff had been turned in months ago,” he added.

Rooks said his child told him the incident happened Tuesday morning inside the girl’s wrestling room and left a number of students injured.



“Two kids went to the emergency room with concussions and one with a broken finger,” he said.

“As adults, we’re responsible for the safety of the children. As a football coach, you are responsible for the safety of all of your players, and that should be paramount, regardless if they done anything wrong or anything you want to improve. Safety should be number one. To me, this shows a real lack of concern for the safety for his players and the students of Shelton high school.” He added, “It makes you concerned for your kids.”

Sarda said her child was also part of the class that morning.

“There was an unequal distribution of height and weight between the classes that were doing a drill together. There was no safety gear. And a lot of injuries happened,” she said.

“Anywhere from a broken finger to concussions to, which I found out the next day, there was not just a concussion, but someone had a broken rib, and it punctured his lung,” she responded.

“Mistakes were made by staff, but I’m confident the school is investigating and will correct what went wrong for the future,” Sarda added. “In both cases, I believe the district communicated to whom it was necessary. For instance, my son was in the weight-lifting class so I was emailed by the school the next day assuring us they were looking into it and will follow up.”

A mother, who was waiting to pick up her child at Shelton High School and did not want to go on camera, told KIRO 7 News that she understands some of the parents’ concerns, however, she believes students in the classroom knew about the risks associated with the “football-related class.”



KIRO 7 News reached out to the school district to get its response on the alleged incident.

A spokesperson told KIRO 7 News the district has no comment.

Shelton police said they did not receive any calls or reports about the alleged incident.

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Shelton High School basketball fight, ‘running drill’ leaves students with broken bones