ATHENS, AL (WAFF/CNN) – Chaos broke out at an Alabama high school, which resulted in the arrests of two students and a parent, as well as differing stories on how it got so far.
One student was knocked unconscious in the fight, while others were soon placed in handcuffs and set to face a list of charges. A parent also was jailed after the scene inside the school.
Athens City Schools Superintendent Trey Holladay says a classroom disruption sent five students to the principals office Tuesday. He suspended them for 20 days.
My daughter is an A student, never in any trouble, said one unnamed parent. In 12 years of school she has never been in trouble.
“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,” Holladay said.
Parent Amanda Loggins, soon after getting released from jail, responded to the superintendents claim she snuck into the school, essentially trespassing. She says she had an appointment that day to meet with a school official.
“This mother came in past our secure lock system and started yelling and screaming in the hallways for them to start rioting,” Holladay said.
Loggins says the officers asked everyone to go back to class after the meeting. She says she only got involved after seeing officers get aggressive with a student.
“I went out there and told him he was being too rough and to stop doing that,” she said. “And the police are like Oh? Youre trying to start a riot? I said, No, Im not trying to start a riot, but black lives do matter. It just went from there.
“He started shoving me on the ground and choking me. My daughter was trying to get him off of me, and I got arrested.”
“He grabbed him and just slammed him against the wall and slammed his head up against the wall, said the unnamed woman. “This young man didnt deserve what he got. I feel for the mom. I feel for the family. Theyll be in my prayers.”
The student knocked unconscious can be seen in the video lying underneath the altercation, finally dragged out by someone.
“I feel really bad, because my kids had to experience some things that they shouldnt have to at a young age,” Loggins said.
In a statement, Athens police says it will conduct a thorough investigation into what happened at the school. The police chief adds it is also working with school officials to address safety concerns there.
“This is not who we are, and were not going to let this define us for the remainder of the school year or this school system,” Holladay said.
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) – In a rare move, Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson invited the media to see body cam and surveillance footage from inside Athens High School when students, parents and law enforcement engaged in a brawl-like altercation.
Three students and one parent were taken into custody. The two adult students, 18-year-old Makaleb Boykin and 18-year-old Gabrielle Kirby, a parent, 39-year-old Amanda Loggins, and a juvenile were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Although the media was allowed to see the footage, cameras were not allowed inside. Johnson says the video isnt being released to the public because it shows minors and is evidence in an active investigation.
It appears to start with police asking Boykin and a number of other students to go back to class or disperse from the main office.
The students were there to talk with Dr. Carter, the schools principal, and their parents about a 20-day suspension they were facing after a disruption in class.
They say Boykin fidgets, which knocks off the officers body camera. He is arrested and taken outside where another portion of the video shows what appears to be him trying to run away. As he tries to run, the camera falls with him and his body cam falls off again.
Back inside, the video shows Loggins in the foyer yelling Black Lives Matter as she checks her children out. This is a move police believe lured the students to her in the foyer.
With one officer outside, the second officer tries to usher students back inside. He tells Loggins to leave. She insists she was there to pull her children out of school for the day.
Johnson says Loggins claims an officer kicked her in the stomach. Though, with the backing of video, Athens PD leadership is saying otherwise. In a tough angle, they place that blame on someone else.
Another contentious moment is when a student says she was knocked unconscious after the officer strikes her. In the school surveillance video, it appears to show the officer doing a move that is taught in training after she pushes him several times. Police suggest her being knocked unconscious came from the fall.
Parents tell WAFF 48 News that their students were unfairly treated. They believe this is all racially motivated.
We didnt work this hard to come this far for somebody to tear him down,” said Barbara Kirby. Her son was one of five originally suspended.
Local NAACP leadership were on hand. They say the purpose was to demand answers they feel they havent gotten.
My child is trying to go to college; trying to make something of himself,” said Kirby. I feel like his rights were violated yesterday.
Kirby believes all of this could have been avoided if the principal did not pass down a harsh punishment. He triggered all of these actions to take place.
Johnson adds the video may eventually be shown to parents, those involved and maybe the entire community. His immediate hesitation is that juveniles are in the video and its part of an active investigation.