five middle school girls and one of their fathers were arrested today following a fight at the school that began just as school was about to start, while another student at the school was charged with terrorizing in a separate incident.
The five girls were charged with disturbing the peace by fighting and were transported to the Ware Detention Center in Coushatta. Lemale James, 42, of the 2000 block of Perrin St. in Shreveport, was also arrested and charged with battery of a school official and booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility Tuesday afternoon.
The melee started soon after the girls exited the buses and entered the lobby area of T.O. Rusheon Middle School in Bossier City around 8 a.m. Tuesday. Two girls started arguing, then started fighting, and three other girls joined in the brawl.
Deputies described it as a “free-for-all” and appears to stem from an ongoing dispute away from the school involving three to four families. Deputy Daryl Brown, the School Resource Office, and school officials quickly responded to the scene, all the while calling for assistance from other deputies and Bossier City Police Department officers who were nearby. Officers were able to separate the girls, and parents were notified.
While officers were conducting their investigation, one of the girls got angry and tried to gain access into another room where other girls she had been fighting were now being questioned. The school’s assistant principal, John Cooper, was protecting those children and blocked the girl from entering the room to keep her from causing more violence. Lemale James, parent of this girl, then decided to throw Mr. Cooper to the ground. He was arrested.
School officials and Dep. Brown were aware of the ongoing fued between the families and were already taking extra precautions. However, nothing can prevent students from sudden bursts of violence, and the incident at Rusheon this morning underscores the need for vigilance.
“When students can’t find ways to resolve conflicts and decide to bring their violence to our school campuses, it will not end well for them,” said Sheriff Whittington. “We will simply not tolerate this type of behavior at Bossier Parish Schools.
“Our SROs are highly trained in situations like this and other threats from outside the school, and we have quick assistance from other deputies and our fellow officers from Bossier City, as well as the leadership and teachers on our campuses. These schools are a major priority in our parish for a safe and disciplined learning environment, and children and adults have to be held accountable for their actions.”
In a separate incident, a sixth student was charged with terrorizing after making threatening comments to a law enforcement officer.