Pre-trial probation for teen charged in fight at Easthampton High School

Fight had brought up discussions of race at high school

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – An Easthampton High School student has been granted pre-trial probation for his alleged role in a fight at the school that began discussions about the issue of race.

Mary Carey, spokesperson for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, told 22News that Joshua Brown, 18, will have to meet certain conditions during a probationary period that lasts through the end of the year.

In Massachusetts, pre-trial probation allows defendants to resolve their cases without a conviction or a required admission of guilt.

The fight, which occurred on March 29, involved four boys, and occurred after the alleged victim used a racial slur in a text message, which was later posted to social media.

Superintendent of Schools Nancy Follsanbee sent a letter to parents saying that the student who used the slur did not defend himself or fight back. The text itself also was not sent on school grounds, so he was not disciplined. Brown and two other students, both juveniles, were disciplined by the school, however. Because of this, some students and other members of the community protested the district’s decision.

Brown and the two other juveniles were charged with aggravated assault and battery and intimidation of a witness following the incident.

Now, with pre-trial probation, Brown has been required to meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a Restorative Justice program, which will include the victim
  • Complete the Peacejam program offered by Clinical Support Options/The Bridge
  • Refrain from abusing the victim
  • Pay restitution of $200

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