Social media-fueled chaos leads to fights, arrests at high schools - Superintendent begs for parents to set kids straight
AMITE – An unprecedented 48 students either face criminal charges or academic discipline after a chaotic two days at high schools in Tangipahoa Parish.
Thirty-two students were involved in two sets of fights at Independence High School Tuesday and Wednesday, which prompted a lockdown, sheriff’s office response and arrests.
Wednesday, nine students at Ponchatoula High School were involved in a fight there. The sheriff’s office said students were arrested and issued misdemeanor summonses for disturbing the peace by fighting. The school system said the fight broke out at lunch. Parents said the break was cut short for students as the school corralled everyone.
At Loranger High School, seven students were involved in a fight at the end of the school day while boarding buses.
The fights are likely unrelated, authorities said, and no weapons were recovered.
The school system believes social media influenced the fights.
“I am asking our parents and family members to sit down with their students tonight and talk about the consequences of these kind of actions on our school campuses,” Superintendent Melissa Stilley begged in a frustrated statement late Wednesday.
There were no reports of serious injuries, although school employees were reportedly hurt at Independence High.
“Our team is following the procedures outlined in our school safety plan, and the students involved will face disciplinary action that could include placement at the Tangipahoa Alternative School or expulsion,” Stilley said.
She added: "We must to take a strong stance against students who choose to disrupt the learning environment and cause potential risk to the students and employees at the school. We will take every action possible to secure our campuses from these types of threats.”
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