COLUMBIA, S.C. — An adult mother and daughter are in jail after attacking three students at a Midlands middle school Wednesday, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sumter residents Whitley Smith, 32, and her mother, Mamie Smith, 67, were each charged with third-degree assault by mob and disturbing schools, the sheriff’s office said in a Thursday news release.
The women went to Ebenezer Middle School in Dalzell to confront a child who they accused of bullying a family member, Sheriff Anthony Dennis said.
At about 2:30 p.m., the school’s resource officer called the sheriff’s office for backup in reference to a fight in progress, according to the release.
Two adults were arrested for assaulting children at Ebenezer Middle School, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.
Whitley and Mamie Smith went to the school, buzzed the front door for entry, and informed the school staff that they needed to go to the attendance office, the sheriff’s office said.
Once inside the building, the women ran down the hallway confronting a student in the hallway, pushing the child against the wall, where they hit and scratched her in the face and head, according to the release.
Another student in the hallway was also pushed and hit, and a third student was also assaulted before the school resource officer and staff were able to detain the women, the sheriff’s office said.
One of the juveniles was taken by her parents to an area hospital for medical treatment, according to the release. The two other students were released to their parents, the sheriff’s office said. Further information on the children’s conditions was not available.
“Our investigation showed that the students who were viciously attacked were not even the students who these subjects believed had bullied their family member,” Dennis said in the release. “The fact is, the students who were reported as bullying these (women’s) family member (were) actually in the office being dealt with when this attack took place.”
Whitley Smith was taken by EMS to Prisma Health Tuomey hospital in Sumter, and was medially cleared a short time later when she was taken to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center, the sheriff’s office said. Mamie Smith was previously taken to the jail, according to the release.
Bond was set at $10,000 for each woman on the combined charges, the sheriff’s office said. Both remain behind bars, jail records show.
If convicted on the assault charge, each woman faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison, while a conviction on the misdemeanor disturbing schools charge is punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, according to South Carolina law.
“This type of behavior is criminal and should never be considered as the appropriate way to deal with matters,” Dennis said. “We work very hard to protect all students in our schools.”
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