News 12 First at Five, September 5, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Four Glenn Hills High School students won't be returning to school tomorrow.
Andre Mitchell's son is one of them. His son was suspended for fighting. Mitchell says his son wasn't fighting--he was just helping a friend.
"He went to the aide of his friend that was bleeding in the bathroom. He didn't know if he was dying or not, but he knew he was bleeding out of his mouth. The teacher told him to go back to class and when he went out into the hallway--they jumped him," he said.
Jonathon Brown was another student who was jumped. He says the people who jumped them didn't even go to Glenn Hills.
"It's like every man for himself in Glenn Hills. People coming on campus that graduated like 3 years ago and they still let them in," Brown said.
"Glenn Hills needs security and they need to get things under control," said Mitchell.
Jessie Chambers is the principal of the school and he says the students deserved to be suspended.
"I don't think the parents are telling you the truth because students don't walk off the street and fight. Most of these fights that we have here have been students that attend here," Chambers said.
Chambers says he can't allow his school to be disrupted. He says, if he hears of any violence--someone's getting suspended or arrested.
"I'm going to make sure that these students who want to get an education have that opportunity to get that education. I'm not going to let what happened in the community come here and disrupt the school," siad the principal.
But Mitchell says the school is disrupted because the doors are left unlocked, metal detectors aren't monitored and anyone can walk in.
"During the course of the day--yes--you can walk through the doorway. In the morning, people are here checking the doors as students come in. Now if the parents want someone to sit here all day maybe they need to pay more taxes so we can have someone here all day," said Chambers.
Mitchell says his top concern is safety, "When I send my son off to work, I want to know that my son's safety is in care."
But for right now--Mitchell's son won't be returning to school--whether he was fighting or simply in the the wrong place at the wrong time. His son was suspended for 10 days and will attend an alternative school for one semester.
Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden says every school in Richmond County follows the same security rules. He says staff and faculty frequently check the school premises to make sure there are no unwanted visitors inside or outside of the school.