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Investigative Unit: 12 kids expelled after fight

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BATON ROUGE - At least 14 kids were put out of Scotlandville Magnet High School last week after a violent video surfaced showcasing a major fight.

The fight led to six arrests. Three adults were cited for disturbing the peace and so were three juveniles. Valencia Pope, 46, was charged with felony contributing to the delinquency of a minor after investigators said she was seen in the video throwing punches.

The fight happened Tuesday according to Karese Watson, a freshman at Scotlandville High who was involved in the fight.

"I had to defend myself," Watson said. "I could not just sit there and let them hit on me."

Watson's mother, Elyce, showed up at the school Tuesday and had a meeting with administrators. She was concerned that something bad was going to happen after her daughter alerted her to the problems. She says her complaints fell on deaf ears when she met with an administrator late in the day.

"They treated me like I was nobody," Watson said. "I was just coming there to disrupt the school, and I was acting calmly."

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System confirmed that a meeting did take place with a concerned parent, but administrators did not write a report. It wasn't until after the incident when a report was generated.

The School System says the students involved in the fight will have an expulsion hearing. They will go before a panel and plead their case. If there is enough evidence to expel the students, they will be put out for the year.

Meanwhile, Watson is demanding answers from the school system. She believes the fight could have been prevented if someone would have listened to her.

"They could have taken a report after the first incident," Watson said. "They could have resolved the problem seeing where it happened, make sure that everything would have been resolved."

School leaders say the video helped them identify which students were involved in the fight. They added it's standard procedure to expel students for off-campus incidents. The cause of the fight remains under investigation.

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