Community comes together to look for solutions to fights at Washington High School

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A community looks for solutions Tuesday night after a fight inside a KCK High School.

The meeting at Faith City Church started at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, to discuss fights at Washington High School and how to stop them.

One local community activist is holding the meeting, because she says she's received multiple complaints from parents and students about fights at Washington High. She says it’s time for the district to do more.

"Oh yeah, all the time," said Washington High junior, Xavier Campbell, about how often he hears about fights.

"I hear about them all the time, but I don't see them," said Keyanna Tolon, a senior.

Students at Washington High School say it's no lie -- fights happen there.

"It has its problems, it’s a high school, it’s going to happen," added Campbell.

But the principal and some students say they perceive that fights don't happen here any more often than at other schools.

"I think just the same as any other high school, it just doesn't get publicized because of people putting in on Facebook," Tolon said.

"These fights are not at all unique to Washington High School," said Dr. Maritza Paul, the Principal of Washington High School.

Paul says after the fight last week, the school took appropriate steps.

"We treated the incident with as much severity as we were allowed within the parameters of our student code of conduct," said Paul.

She says they're working on teaching students how to behave in responsible, more respectful ways.

"We by no means condone violence, what we are doing here at Washington High School is really teaching our students how to resolve issues using language," Paul said.

A community activist, Tamika Pledger, says she's holding the meeting on Tuesday, because she worries issues at Washington High School are being swept under the rug.

"Doing something like this will get their attention," said Pledger, with 21st Century KCK Citizens United.

She says every school has its issues, but she's received too many complaints from parents and students to ignore the problems at Washington High.

"I'm not the one saying that it's horrible, if you watch the video it speaks for itself," said Pledger. "I'm not here to say it's a horrible school, it's not a school to attend, were here to collect dialogue with those who are having problems, by the ones saying their classrooms are being affected."

The school principal says what a few videos show really represents a small minority of student behavior.

"99.9% of our students here at Washington High School are engaged in activities that have absolutely nothing to do with violence," said Paul.

The meeting ran from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The public was invited to express any concerns.

KCK Police say they've made 11 trips to Washington High School that resulted in police report since school started in August. Three of those involved reports of an assault or disorderly conduct.

Earlier coverage:

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