• Parents, teachers concerned over 'staged' school fights

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    DECATUR, Ga. - Campus fights and alcohol abuse are a big concern at Decatur City Schools.

    Monday night parents took their questions right to police and administrators during a packed meeting.

    Administrators told parents they are noticing a disturbing trend with student fights.

    Administrators revealed state statistics that show 76 percent of high school seniors with Decatur City Schools say they’ve witnessed a fight on campus.
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    Last month, an off-campus fight led to the arrest of three students.

    Several students told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson that they've seen the fights happen on campus.

    Parents put together Monday’s meeting after concerns that a number of those student fights kept appearing on social media.

    “The most recent incident in Decatur was very disturbing,” said Deputy Police Chief Keith Lee.

    Administrators revealed state statistics that show 76 percent of high school seniors with Decatur City Schools say they’ve witnessed a fight on campus.

    “My kids have never been in a fight but who’s to say they won’t get caught up in something,” said parent Stella Nelms.

    “Sometimes student stage fights just for the sole purpose of putting it on social media,” said student Zaahira Carroll.

    Carroll says the fights are common.

    “You would kind of know if there's going to be a fight because everyone would spread it around campus,” she said.

    Another concern for district parents is the high rate of alcohol abuse.

    “Higher than DeKalb County, than the state of Georgia, and higher than the national average -- significantly higher,” said Jessica Andrews-Wilson with GUIDE, Inc.

    Fifty-five percent of seniors reported using alcohol within 30 days of the survey.

    Parents say, despite those numbers, there is still reason for optimism.

    “I’ve never seen such a high attendance for a parent meeting before,” said parent Laura Fehrs. ”I'm very encouraged.”

    The superintendent told Johnson he was surprised by some of the numbers from the survey and his staff will take a deeper dive into how they can address the issues.

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