Parents, students protest violence at Indianapolis high school during fall break

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By Marisela Burgos

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 6, 2014)– Parents of students who attend George Washington Community High School say there is too much violence at the school.

On Monday, a group of parents and students protested outside the school during fall break. Indianapolis Public School officials confirm there have been a couple of fights where students have gotten hurt.

“We’ve seen fights – a lot more fights – a lot of food fights and it (has) been out of control. Chaos,” George Washington freshman Jesus Ramos said.

Ramos said he was suspended after another student started talking trash to him and then they fought. Ramos admitted to FOX59 he was suspended in the past for talking back. Ramos said he wanted to attend today’s protest because he likes his school.

“(I protested) so I can show the people that we’re in danger that (the) school (is) at risk,” Ramos said.

One parent said her daughter is scared.

“My daughter was kind of afraid that she didn’t want to (go to school) because they would try to jump her after school. So I told her don’t worry about it. I’ll check on you all the time,” Elvira Uscanga said.

Another parent said she pulled her daughter out of George Washington High School after she said a large group of students broke her daughter’s nose.

“I am here for my daughter because it isn’t fair. It isn’t fair what they did to my daughter,” Olga Romero said.

Even though Romero’s daughter does not attend the school anymore, she wants justice.

“The bruises are healing, but physiologically she’s in bad shape. She is very scared,” Romero said.

Greg Newlin , Academic Improvement Officer over the magnet learning community for IPS, said he has started learning about issues at the school.

“I do know that there have been a couple of different fights and some people have gotten hurt in school and that’s not acceptable behavior for anybody in school,” Newlin said.

Newlin said they are working on addressing these issues and opening up conversations between parents and students in order to work together.

“Certainly our parents aren’t here all day long and they need to know that when they send their kids to George Washington they’re going to be safe. They’re going to be loved. They’re going to be taken care of and they’re going to be educated,” Newlin said.

Newlin does not feel the violence is getting out of hand at the school. They plan to add support staff and bring in the peace learning center for the next several weeks to help with making better choices and resolutions.

“Make those kids understand that we can make better choices that we’re here for (them). Let us help you. We’ll help you make better choices. I think that’s part of what we do as teachers. We need to teach,” Newlin said.

IPS scheduled a parent meeting this Thursday, October 9, at 6 p.m. This is the second parent meeting.

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