In the midst of another graphic video of a brutal fight between teens at a Mississippi high school going viral, one teacher and a former student from have revealed how the bureaucracy apparently helps the regular mass brawls continue.
New policies at Terry High School in Hinds County ‘deter teachers’ at the school from punishing children who are involved in violent fights, one teacher, who did not want to be publicly identified, told WLBT.
The educator’s comments come after the school was the scene of another vicious brawl on Monday that was caught on camera.
Officials say the most recent fight at the high school was a continuance of a brawl that happened on Friday during a basketball game.
Video of the altercation shows several students inside the high school punching and kicking each other, as a huge crowd surrounds them.
Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason said the students involved in the altercation used to go to school together in Jackson, before transferring.
All six of the teens involved in the fight on Monday were arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Former Terry High student, Melody Thompson, said that she had been involved in a fight while attending the school, but it was quickly broken up.
‘I’ll be honest, I was even in a fight in that cafeteria, and they immediately shut it down and we were in the principle’s office within 30 seconds,’ Thompson told WLBT.
But now Thompson said things have dramatically changed since she went to the school and not for the better.
‘They can’t just send them to the office and have them written up or have them taken care of or go to detention,’ Thompson stated.
‘Like the teachers have to be there to monitor them for detention, they have to do the paperwork, and it’s creating a workload that the teachers can’t keep up with.’
Officials with the Hinds County School District say the high school has programs in place to offer session on bullying prevention and conflict resolution.
However, another violent fight that occurred at the high school in September involved students who traded blows with staff members.
That brawl, which was also caught on video, apparently brought up long standing concerns among parents in regards to how their children are being punished by the school.
The shocking video from the September 2 fight shows a student repeatedly striking a school resource officer who was attempting to break-up a fight between two students, district officials told WJTV.
The dramatic 10-second clip also shows another school employee trying to intervene and protect the school resource officer by removing a student from the brawl.
Officials with the school district at the time said the employees followed the policy.
However, Danny Jones said he disagrees, as his 16-year-old daughter was arrested after she apparently tried to end the fight which was between other girls.
‘She was trying to be a good citizen and break up the fight. And it went bad from there. They started fighting and she had to fight back. The principal told us one thing but when it’s time to go to court, he says something totally different,’ Jones told WJTV days after the incident.
The father said he and his wife were upset with how the school handled the situation.
‘He said that since she told she had been fighting she was part of the fight. He put her in there and said she was part of a group fight,’ Jones said.
Charges against the teenager were eventually dropped, but she was suspended from the school.
In addition, back during the 2015 school year, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said there were 31 arrests at the school.
‘That’s a 400% increase of school based arrests over the past three years. And those arrests were by and large for willful disobedience or other subjectively defined offenses,’ Lydia Wright, with the SPLC, told WJTV.
‘Students weren’t getting arrested for bringing weapons to school. Students weren’t getting arrested for drugs on campus.
‘Students were being arrested for typical adolescent misbehavior.’
The SPLC sent the school district a letter roughly a year requesting that the code of conduct be revised, but it’s unclear if that change was made.