Parents concerned about student fights at area high school

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- More fighting among students at Washington High School has parents concerned. Earlier this month, FOX 4 News reported on student suspensions at Washington following a prank that got out of hand.

A fight between an African-American boy and a Hispanic girl at the school Monday has parents worried about continuing violence.

Parents called video recorded Monday on a cell phone "disturbing." They say other students who have not been involved in the fighting are afraid of what might happen next.

In the hallway of Washington High School the video shows a boy and girl arguing and then the boy starts beating the girl.

He can be heard saying "Don't put your hands on me," and “I’m not afraid to hit a girl."

A president of a Parent Teacher and Student Association in the school district says other parents have identified multiple issues as sources of continuing problems at Washington including gang fighting, personal vendettas and cultural conflicts.

"With my daughters, I look at it as that could have been my daughter," said Tamika Pledger, a PTSA president. "That could have been your daughter. We have to take those precautionary measures to know that our children are protected at school, especially by bullies, and males hitting on females."

Pledger also is concerned about domestic violence being all too common because she says on the boy's Facebook page, a number of other boys have posts congratulating him for beating that girl.

"That scares me," Pledger said. "I have two daughters and I have two sons. And if my two sons ever said that to a young lady the punishment would be so severe. I've always taught my children to never hit a girl. I don't care how mad you get you use your self-control. And you know that you are stronger than a woman, but be stronger mentally. That's what I always have to instill on them."


Marla Svoboda with the Rose Brooks Center, an area women's shelter, comments on the recent domestic abuse stories in the news.

"Children are growing up and there's a group mentality and that's unfortunate and this is an opportunity for us as adults to say being a bystander or supporting that kind of activity is as bad as doing the activity itself," said Marla Svoboda with the Rose Brooks Center, an area women's shelter.

The Kansas City Kansas School District has not yet responded to FOX 4 News' inquiries about the video and parent concerns.


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