VIDEO: Return to Single Session at GW Causes Tension Between Upper and Lower Classmen

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Guam – Rising tensions between the freshmen and upperclassmen at George Washington High School are causing the Department of Education to revisit the idea of a double session at the Mangilao campus.

Joe and June Cruz believe their son and nephew have been targets of attacks from older students at school.

The couple’s 9th grade son was punched in the face on February 27th following a disagreement with a group of older students about trash. According to the Cruzs their nephew, who is also a freshman, defended their son during the first fight and as a result he was injured by the same group of boys yesterday.

Superintendent Jon Fernandez tells PNC he visited the Mangilao campus Monday to talk to students and find out what the underlying issues are. While Deputy Superintendent Erika Cruz talked with school administrators Fernandez talked with students to hear their points of view.

“(The students) would like to see us bring back the double session,” Fernandez told PNC. “ They felt that when the single session began again that bringing the freshmen on campus was something that led to what they call drama and fights.”

GW freshmen attended classes in the afternoon last semester while sophomores, juniors, and seniors had school in the morning because 17 classrooms were closed for renovations. Fernandez says he is now determining the cost of running the double session and its academic impact to consider revisiting the schedule in the next school year.

Meanwhile Fernandez says he continues to investigate an altercation between a GW student and someone from off campus last Friday.  The incident left the GW student with injuries that required medical attention at GMH. Fernandez is looking into how the alleged assailant was able to get on campus and whether school administrators acted appropriately in assessing the injuries of the student.  Fernandez believes Friday’s incident was isolated and unrelated to the other incidents at the school.