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Injured Sweet Home principal to miss some days

The principal at Sweet Home High School is expected to miss a couple of days of school, after she was injured while trying to break up a fight Monday.

Sweet Home Principal Joleen Reinholz had to be taken to Erie County Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with a concussion, school officials said Tuesday.

“She is home now resting and recuperating,” said Don Feldmann, the district’s spokesman. “All indications are she’ll be back with us here at the high school sooner rather than later.”

While there was no specific timetable on her return, Feldmann on Tuesday speculated that the principal would be out a couple of days.

Student Keshaun Johnson, 16, of Amherst, was arrested and charged with felony assault.

“There’s a particular section in the law that makes what would ordinarily have been a misdemeanor into a felony when the victim is a school employee,” said Amherst Assistant Police Chief Charles Cohen.

Johnson was one of the four students involved in the fight that broke out at about noon Monday in the halls of Sweet Home High School, 1901 Sweet Home Road.

Reinholz yanked one of the four students out of the fight, Feldmann said. When she went back to break up the others, Johnson threw a punch at another student, missed and struck Reinholz, Feldmann said. Reinholz was knocked down and appeared to be unconscious briefly.

The student did not intentionally hit the principal, Feldmann said.

“She got caught in the middle of the whole scuffle and ended up getting the worst of it,” Cohen said.

All four students have been suspended pending a superintendent’s hearing, Feldmann said.

No other charges have been placed at this time, but the incident was captured on video. Another teacher was hurt during the fight, and police are trying to figure out who was behind that, Cohen said.

Meanwhile, Feldmann said, administrators spoke to the 1,150 students Tuesday to send a message that the school will not tolerate that kind of behavior.