ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — The Howard County NAACP, Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County, and African American Community Roundtable are calling for a thorough investigation after a video surfaced Thursday showing Howard High School staffers restraining a Black student on the floor and punching him in the head.

In a statement released Friday, the civil rights groups said the footage is “very disturbing.”

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Howard County Police told WJZ a security guard and school administrator intervened after a student reportedly assaulted several other students in the cafeteria. Police confirmed one of the security officers seen in the video is a former police officer and said his actions are under investigation.

“What this video shows is obvious, an adult is striking a student in the head at least twice and pulling his hair while two others are trying to restrain his lower and upper body,” the civil rights groups said. “While this video does not show events leading up to this point it is clear an adult is striking a child.”

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The organizations called for the adult seen striking the student in the head to be suspended immediately while school administrators investigates the incident.

Following the review, Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano should implement training or retraining for security officers in schools and review the hiring practices for all employees who interact with school children to “ensure they are safe to be in contact with our students,” the groups said.

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The organizations requested a conversation with Howard County leaders to ensure students feel safe.

Brandon Weigel