Insta-slam: Student arrested for assault over Instagram post

A Thunder Mountain High School student was arrested Wednesday for assaulting another student in class over an Instagram post.

Police said the two students, both 16, had a “dispute” over the post on the picture-sharing app, and the offended male student punched the other in the back of the head. Police did not reveal what the post said or depicted but said it related to teen suicide.

“Apparently the school is learning about teen suicide, and the victim made some post about teen suicide that the suspect took exception to,” Juneau Police Department spokesman Lt. David Campbell told the Empire.

He added, “The post was not offensive, it was just a difference of opinion.”

A teacher witnessed the assault, which took place during “zero hour” class time before first period, and the school reported the incident to police a little before 9 a.m.

Responding patrol officers interviewed both students, their parents and school officials before transporting the assault suspect to the Johnson Youth Center. Police forwarded the case to the Juneau district attorney’s office, which handles juvenile justice matters.

Not much else is known about the case since the two people involved are minors and their names were not released. Juneau School District Chief of Staff and Communications Manager Kristin Bartlett said she could not comment on student discipline matters, although she forwarded the Empire a copy of the TMHS Code of Conduct which states a student can be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion for assaulting or threatening another student or staff member.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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