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Principal defends administration after brawl

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BATON ROUGE- The principal of Scotlandville High School is defending the actions of his administration following a large fight which led to the expulsion of 12 students and the suspensions of two others.

The defense comes after a parent told WBRZ she alerted the administration that something bad was going to happen.

"Hopefully we are able to put out those fires before it gets to that point, this time we didn't," Principal Howard Davis said.

Elyce Watson claims she met with an assistant principal at the school last Tuesday telling them about the fight that was about to take place. She claims her complaints fell on deaf ears.

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

When the bell rang, Watson's fears came true as an all out brawl took place between 14 students. News 2 asked Davis what he would say to the parent who believes the administration should have done more to prevent the fight.

"Send those kids over here to go to school and not fight, that's my message," Davis said.

Davis claims when Elyce Watson showed up and complained his assistant principal, Harry Wright, got her daughter out of class. The daughter sat in the office until the bell rang, and that's when Davis claims Watson's daughter left and never returned.

Roxson Welch runs the Family Youth Service Center in Baton Rouge. She believes a parent's warning should never be ignored by an administrator.

"These kids, their futures are going to be compromised by an action they took based upon anger that we might have been able to avoid," Welch said.

Welch wants parents to know, they can reach out to her organization if they feel like they aren't getting anywhere with their children's school.  The Family Youth Service Center can be reached at 225-239-7800.

As for Principal Davis, he says he wouldn't change a thing.  He had this message for the students who fight and then talk about it.

"They can talk to whoever they want," Davis said. "I don't care if they go on 60 Minutes. When they get off 60 Minutes, they are going to be suspended."

The 12 students will have an expulsion hearing. The school is in the process of scheduling them. Six people were arrested for the fight, including three adults and three juveniles. One of the adults, Valencia Pope, was charged with a felony, for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.


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