Sussex Central High School News
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Harmon and her mother claim that Principal Bradley Layfield and Assistant Principal Matthew Jones reviewed security footage, created a meme showing her exposed breast, and shared it with staff members.
The new school is in the works.
The Indian River School District is building a new high school in Georgetown to address overcrowding at Sussex Central. The 309,000-square-foot school will be built next to the existing one on Patriots Way. The project is expected to be completed by 2025. The school will include standard classrooms, a science wing with 23,217 square feet of learning space, and a 4,800-square-foot vocational area. It will also have baseball, softball, soccer, and football fields, as well as a greenhouse.
The project is being overseen by EDiS, a contractor that has completed several large-scale projects. The company is known for constructing schools, hospitals, and government buildings. EDiS has done work in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Sussex Central is a public high school located in Georgetown, Delaware. It is part of the Indian River School District and serves students in grades 9 through 12. Its enrollment is 1,916, and its student-teacher ratio is 14 to 1. It offers AP courses and exams, and its AP participation rate is 21%. It is ranked 26th in Delaware and 39th nationally.
Earlier this year, the high school was the site of a fight that left several students injured. The incident prompted the school to place its principal and an assistant principal on leave. The incident has been the subject of a police investigation. The school’s superintendent declined to comment on the matter, citing state and federal privacy laws.
Bradley Layfield, the embattled principal, told Coastal Point this week that “yes,” he wants to return to his job. He has retained an employment lawyer to defend his reputation.
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Aniya Harmon is suing the school.
A Delaware teenager is suing her former high school and two administrators after she says security footage that showed her topless was turned into a meme. 18-year-old Aniya Harmon alleges that she confronted a male and female student who were arguing in the hallways at Sussex Central High School in May, but when she tried to break them up, a staff member grabbed her and pulled her “forcefully by her jacket, bra strap and tank top strap blouse,” causing it to come apart exposing one of her breasts, according to her lawsuit.
Surveillance cameras recorded the incident, and the lawsuit claims that Principal Bradley Layfield shared this video without blurring her cleavage with other staff members. Layfield’s assistant, Matthew Jones, then worked with the footage to create a meme of Harmon that superimposed her face onto Janet Jackson’s after the singer’s wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Jones allegedly shared this meme with senior staff members, teachers, and administrators on a school-issued laptop, allowing up to six people to see her bare breasts. This meme was also shared on social media, and the lawsuit claims that it caught the ear of Harmon’s mother, Tosha White.
After the meme went viral, the school put both Layfield and Jones on administrative leave. The lawsuit, which names both of them as defendants, accuses the school district and administrators of invasion of privacy, civil conspiracy, respondeat superior, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The suit is seeking damages in the amount of any compensation awarded by a jury or court, plus attorney’s fees and punitive damages.
A lawyer for the principal, who has been on administrative leave since May, said he will defend his client in court. He said that he believes the lawsuit is baseless because the student’s anatomy was never exposed in any way during the fight, and she has no right to be entitled to damages over an incident she had nothing to do with. He added that a review of the video from a frame-to-frame analysis would prove that the student’s breast was only exposed for an instant as she moved her head and her arms.
A fight broke out at graduation.
WORTHINGTON – Just before a high school graduation ceremony in Worthington, a series of physical fights broke out. One of those fights is now being investigated as a possible hate crime. The melee began inside the Learning Center just before the commencement ceremony was set to start. The crowd erupted into chaos, and many people grabbed loved ones to keep them from getting involved.
Several videos were posted to social media showing the violence that took place. Some people were seen punching others while others attempted to break up the fights. The scene eventually moved outside, where a man was seen grabbing a woman and pushing her.
According to police, a 29-year-old Millsboro man was arrested in connection with the incident. There is also a warrant for the arrest of a 16-year-old girl. The teenager is accused of kicking and hitting the 48-year-old woman.
The Delaware State Police say they are conducting a criminal investigation into the incident. Both the suspects are alleged to be from Sussex Central High School in Georgetown.
Both the suspects were placed on administrative leave last week. Indian River School District spokesman India Sturgis says it is a regular practice for the district to put staff on leave when there is an allegation, complaint, or other matter that requires a thorough review.
She says the decision to put the two administrators on leave was made after consultation and review with Delaware State Police. The district has not released any further details.
A spokesman for the district would not say whether or not the investigation was related to the May 17 fight that left Harmon’s breast exposed. She told the principal and a teacher were placed on leave while the study was underway.
The school is now facing a lawsuit from Harmon’s family over the incident. The case is in the preliminary stages, and an attorney for Harmon’s father said it will be filed shortly. This is just the latest chapter in an ongoing battle over a fight that started over a saved seat at graduation. The lawsuit alleges the school was negligent and that the woman suffered injuries and losses as a result of the incident.
A 16-year-old student was arrested.
The fight that took place at Sussex Central High School during graduation ceremonies on May 30 led to a man and a 16-year-old girl being charged with a misdemeanor. Delaware State Police working the event said they got a report of a crowd fighting outside the entrance to the ceremonies south of Georgetown.
When troopers arrived, they saw a crowd of people gathered, and the main entrance was blocked by people trying to fight. One of the troopers told the crowd to back away and started a taser-testing line to control the group.
But the crowd did not listen, and a fight broke out between a few of the attendees. One of the people in the group, a 48-year-old woman, was kicked and punched by the suspect. She suffered minor injuries to her face. The suspect is identified as a 16-year-old girl from Millsboro who was arrested on charges of Assault Third Degree, and Disorderly Conduct. She was released to her parents. The other suspect, 29-year-old David Cupery, turned himself in to state police and was charged with misdemeanor offenses of Offensive Touching and Disorderly Conduct. He was also placed on the sex offenders registry.
Both Layfield and Jones were placed on administrative leave after the incident. The Indian River School District has not commented on the situation, citing privacy laws. The district does not usually discuss personnel matters in public.
However, the school board’s agenda for November 15 appeared to signal a change in policy. The plan said the board would be discussing a recommendation for the administrators assigned to Sussex Central but did not mention what action might be taken.
The lawsuit from Aniya Harmon’s family says Layfield and Jones reviewed security footage of the fight and created a meme still image of her nude breast that they shared with other faculty members. A lawyer for Layfield tells CoastTV that his client only shared the video out of concern for safety. The lawyer adds that the allegations in the lawsuit are false and exaggerated to generate publicity for the case.