Warrants have been issued for at least four teenage boys for repeatedly spanking three girls at Bowie High School.
Bowie Police began investigating the incidents Wednesday after three girls, two aged 16 and one aged 15, complained.
Investigator Guy Green said the girls told police several boys had taken them between some buildings during the school day, held them and assaulted them with belts and a paddle.
They claimed other students kept an eye out for teachers while the spankings were occurring, according to Green.
The incidents occurred over five or six days during the last week of August, he said.
"They did it because they thought it was fun," one girl told Green.
The officer said the girls, who showed signs of some bruising, were scared to report the incidents because the boys had told them something worse would happen if they did.
"At first, they thought the boys were just playing around and it would stop, but it didn't. The girls finally had had enough and talked," Green said.
As of Friday, four warrants had been prepared for a 17-year-old boy for Class A assault and unlawful restraint. Another four warrants were being prepared for a 16-year-old boy. Green said two other boys, aged 17, also will face Class C assault charges. Further charges on other teens could be possible.
"There are three or four faculty members watching during this time period, but they can't be everywhere. These girls were scared of retaliation, and there could be some other victims that have not come forward. We have bullying every year, but it is not widespread. It seems to be localized to five or six," said School Resource Officer Bob Blackburn.
Blackburn said Principal Jeff Jackson will be looking at adding staff and other procedures.
"A few years ago we eliminated off-campus lunch, instituted the dress code, but Mr. Jackson said the kids could have lunch time somewhat on their own as long as things were orderly. That is stopping," Blackburn said.
Two of the teenagers sought in the warrants have been suspended. Blackburn said expulsion hearings have been set up, and the teens could face up to a year of expulsion from school.
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