School system investigates high school violence - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School system investigates high school violence

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April 23, 2008

Albany -- 
More reports of gang fights at Dougherty High School Wednesday after a day of violence at the school Tuesday. Parents tell us they're afraid to send their kids to school.

The administration admits they have had several fights in the last week that are gang involved, but say they are handling the problem.

Doug and Tracey Dent say they are afraid for their son's life. "My son was jumped by 25 or 30 students. Gang students with red bandanas on their hands, beating him up," Doug Dent said

They say their tenth grade son was ambushed when he got off the bus beside Dougherty High School, and chased across the parking lot to a nearby drainage ditch. Their daughter, a senior, watched in horror as her brother was attacked.

"He had two knots on the left side of his face, knots on his head, and scratches on his back,"said Tracey Dent.

"I think there are some gang affiliated young men and women at school. But it's not unique to Dougherty High School," said Dougherty High Principal Horace Reid.

The Dent's say their son was attacked because a gang tried to recruit him, but he turned them down. There is talk he burned the gang's flag.

"Either they beat you for joining the gang, or they beat you for not joining the gang. Either way our kids are at high risk." Dent said.

Principal Horace Reid had extra school police on hand at school today, investigating Wednesday's fights. Several more parents returned to Dougherty High today about their kids, after word of another gang attack this morning.

"There was a big gang fight, as about 20 guys jumped a boy in the hallway and beat him down," Doug Dent said.

"It's not a rampant problem here at Dougherty High but obviously we have to realize it is going on," Principal Reid said.

But the Doug Dent said the problem is much bigger than officials want to admit.  "Somebody is going to end up getting killed at one of these schools, before it takes some immediate action."

The Dents say it was tough to send their kids back to Dougherty High this morning, because they said they were scared.

 "What are we to do to keep our kids safe at school?" asked Tracey Dent.

Principal Reid says the students can tell who the gang members are causing the problem, and the School Police will take care of the threat.

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