VIDEO: Brawl at AL high school involves students, parents, police

Police responded to a disturbance at Athens High School on April 10, 2019.
Police responded to a disturbance at Athens High School on April 10, 2019.(Source: WAFF)
Updated: Apr. 11, 2019 at 11:46 AM CDT
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ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - Scary moments inside Athens High School on Wednesday sent multiple people to jail. Now, the superintendent is calling for a beefed-up police presence at the school for the rest of the week.

Officials say there was an altercation involving parents and students. It prompted police response and a school lockdown.

Superintendent Trey Holladay says what happened was completely unnecessary.

Students and parents are outraged. They’re calling for an immediate change in leadership.

A spokeswoman for Athens City Schools provided a statement on Thursday that stated, “Athens City Schools does not condone violence or discrimination of any kind. This is not who we are as a school system or a community.”

This all stemmed from an incident that happened Tuesday afternoon when five students were removed from class for being “disobedient,” according Holladay. Those students claim the new principal at Athens High made strange accusations about their behavior that caused them to get frustrated.

They say the principal gave all of them 20 days suspension and barred them from prom and graduation.

Thursday’s statement from the school system claims parents for four of the students involved in the suspension met with interim principal Dr. Rick Carter on Tuesday afternoon. Parents for the fifth student reportedly met with Dr. Carter on Wednesday. The statement says the mother of the student was asked to leave the school after using inappropriate language and hostile behavior. The mother reportedly tried to return to the school and was stopped for trespassing. The statement from the school says the mother began to incite violence among the students and later resisted arrest when the school’s student resource officer arrested her.

Three students and one parent were taken into custody. All were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Police later identified two of the students who were charged as Gabrielle Kirby and Makaleb Boykin. Both are 18. The third is a juvenile. The adult charged was identified as 39 year-old Amanda Loggins.

From the left, Gabrielle Kirby, Makaleb Boykin, Amanda Loggins.
From the left, Gabrielle Kirby, Makaleb Boykin, Amanda Loggins.(Source: Athens Police Department)

There will be an increased police presence at Athens High School for the remainder of the week.

A video of the altercation was sent to our newsroom.

One student says she was knocked unconscious by police. The trespassing parent happens to be her mother and she tells a different story.

“We were about to check out and my mama said, ‘Everything is going too fast. Let’s just check out.’ That was me, my brother and sister. She was signing the paper and the police officer told her to get inside. He started pushing her. I told him to stop. Then he literally grabbed her and moved her. I said don’t touch her. I got in between them and I think he hit me. He did hit her,” said student said.

“You lose some things in communication. You lose some things in translation. So I had all the confidence in the world that our parents would come in and do what they were supposed to do and they did, but one. This is not who we are and we’re not going to let this define this school year or school system,” said Holladay.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson sent the following statement:

“Athens Police continue to investigate the altercation that occurred at Athens High School. I promise the department will conduct a thorough investigation. I am asking anyone who witnessed the altercation to contact the department if he or she has not already talked to an officer. We will take as long as needed to gather all information available from students to video so that we can make an informed determination as to the sequence of events. We are also working with school officials to address safety concerns because a safe campus is a priority (for) us."

Anyone who witnessed the altercation who has not already spoken to officers may call 256-233-8700.

Copyright 2019 WAFF. All rights reserved.