Fight sends DeKalb high school student to hospital day after 3 teens arrested in another brawl

·5 min read

Yet another fight broke out today at a DeKalb County high school where three teens were arrested for fighting Tuesday, leaving a teenager injured.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was at Towers High School, where some students said they are afraid to go to school after a series of fights.

Video from the fight on Tuesday showed at least a dozen students involved in a brawl in a hallway.

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Fernandes learned that of the three teenagers arrested Tuesday, one was charged as an adult. The principal of Towers injured her knee trying to break the fight up.

On Wednesday, a student left the school on a stretcher after yet another big fight. It’s unclear how many students were involved or how severe the teen’s injuries were.

Students told Fernandes that they think the fights at Towers are gang-related. Others said students provoke the fights just so they can post them on social media.

Fernandes talked to one student who didn’t want to be identified, but said he’s scared of all the fights not just at Towers, but at schools around metro Atlanta.

During the bathroom brawl at Newton High School earlier this month, a student who got attacked in a bathroom had to be taken to the hospital.

“There was a stabbing at Newton and a kid left on a stretcher,” he said. “And that same day, there was a gang-related fight that was posted on Instagram. I know people who carry knives at school for protection and it’s... I feel like it shouldn’t be that way for high school.”

Newton County school officials there was not a stabbing incident at the school.

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A teen girl agreed that the fights are out of control.

“There are fights almost every week,” she said. “One of the recent fights we had, one of the girls dislocated her finger,” she said.

Students Fernandes talked to said the kids starting the fights are just not afraid to get suspended or arrested and school administrators are overwhelmed.

“I would say (schools) need to add more security and have someone watching every hall as much as they can,” one student said.

Fernandes reached out to the DeKalb County Superintendent to find out if there’s a plan to stop the fights, but did not hear back.

DeKalb County Schools did issue the following statement:

“A physical altercation involving several students occurred yesterday morning at Towers High School. Administrators, staff, and DCSD Public Safety at the school moved swiftly to separate the involved individuals. The school was placed on lockdown to ensure containment of the incident, which is standard protocol in situations like this. Two school employees suffered minor injuries. They were evaluated and treated by medical personnel. Students involved in incidents like this are subject to law enforcement charges and consequences as outlined in the District’s Student Code of Conduct.”

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Fernandes also sent a list of questions to the Newton County Schools Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. Her answers read:

Do you think Newton HS needs more security?

Newton High School currently has multiple school resource officers assigned to the school to ensure a safe learning and working environment for our students and staff. In addition, the school system employs a school safety coordinator who works closely with School Resource Officers, local law enforcement officials, and school administrators.

Do you think many students are fighting so they can post it on social media?

Students have multiple reasons for fighting and social media often does play a role. It’s important to note that our schools are a microcosm of our communities. When fights do occur on school campus, they are often the result of something that has taken place at home in the student’s neighborhood or local community. They bring the issues with them into the school environment. When school officials are made aware of possible situations, they do everything they can to mitigate the problem. This is where we can use the help of our parents and greater community. If you hear of a situation, please report it to the school.

What can be done to stop all the fights?

We have researched the data and fights are actually at a five-year low at Newton High School. We are seeing less, not more fights on campus as we enforce our student code of conduct and make it known to all that fights will not be tolerated at school. In addition to disciplinary action, students involved in fighting on campus may also face criminal charges. Our school and district doesn’t just operate on a reactionary basis. We have multiple supports in place to prevent issues like fighting before they occur. For instance, Newton High School and other schools in our district utilize Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to create atmospheres where all students can succeed.

We have video of teachers pulling students hair to break up a fight at Newton HS, any response to how bad it’s getting?

Again, fights at Newton High School are at a five-year low. We are unaware of this incident but if parents have video footage they would like to share with us they are encouraged to do so.

How do you make students feel safe? We spoke to some students who are afraid to go to school. Clements middle & Newton HS

We have always encouraged any student or parent with a safety concern to contact a school administrator or resource officer for assistance. Once we are made aware of a concern, we takes steps to investigate and intervene, including notification of parents for their support.

We repeatedly emphasize the code of conduct and consequences for physical confrontation between and among students at school. We encourage and appreciate parents reinforcing it at home as well.

Finally, as always, student safety is our foremost priority every moment of every day. Student conflict is not a new phenomenon. There is no singular cause or motivation for all instances of student conflict. What is consistent across all cases is that students who violate the code of conduct are dealt with swiftly, consistently, and according to the Student Code of Conduct.