School called a 'war zone' after rash of arrests

by: Carl Willis Updated:


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - At least a half dozen students were arrested at a local high school in a span of just 10 days.

"This is not common behavior for Lakeside High School, certainly, and it's not something that DeKalb County Schools will tolerate," said DeKalb County School District Spokesperson Lillian Govus.

Now, Joe Reed, the principal at DeKalb County's Lakeside High School, is planning to take steps to stop future incidents.

Some students, including senior Maurice Nelson, told Channel 2's Carl Willis there's been a noticeable change within the past two weeks.

"It was a war zone out there," he said.

Reed sent a letter home to parents describing how six different incidents led to five students being arrested and several others suspended.

"Lakeside usually hasn't been like that, for the last four years I've been here ," said Nelson. "It's getting pretty wild."

Reed also wrote that there have been increased instances of theft on campus that led to at least one other arrest.

"If a student breaks a law, then they're held to the same standards that citizens are," said Govus. "We're very fortunate to have a public safety department that serves only DeKalb County schools and should a student commit a crime then that student will be arrested."

According to Reed's letter, the next step will be gathering the school resource officer, campus supervisors, as well as teachers and administrators so they can work to bring a stop to these incidents.

"Especially after what's happened recently in Connecticut," said Govus. "We're reviewing our safety plans and making sure that all of the necessary measures are in place."

Students said something needs to be done, because even faculty members haven't been safe from the recent rash of fights.

"The teacher tried to stop the fight and they started stomping the teacher for trying to prevent it from happening," said Halima Chapron.

"I used to be able to stand right there to wait for my parents to come, but now I have to stand so far away with so many security guards in fear of fights, it's not good," said freshman Jabarri Weston.

While there have been more arrests than usual, the principal notes that there have also been instances when students have stepped in to protect fellow students and staff members from getting hurt.

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