‘It starts in the home:’ Officials address Mobile County school fights

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MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Two communities are looking for answers, after two serious school fights at Murphy and Vigor. The fights sent nearly a dozen students to Strickland Youth Center.

Mobile County Family Court Judge Edmond Naman and Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste tell News 5 that this is a community issue that starts in the home. They hope this will help turn things around for those students before it’s too late.

“When something like this happens, it’s a good wake up call for parents to say to themselves. ‘How are my children doing at school?’ It may be a good time to call teachers to call administrators and find out what’s going on with your child and if you don’t like what you hear, then it’s time to talk to your children. Y’all sit down with your children about how things can turn bad really quickly,” said Judge Naman.

An important conversation on Friday, shedding light on a growing concern in our community pertaining to our youth.

“The school system doesn’t have time to teach children how to behave and follow rules and be respectful. That’s something that has to be taught in the home,” said Chief Battiste.

Thursday morning at Murphy High School, nine students were taken to Strickland Youth Center after a fight. While trying to break up the fight, the principal and a teacher were injured.

A few hours later, another major fight broke out. This time at Vigor High School involving three girls, using brass knuckles. Sending one to the hospital and the other two were arrested.

“I think we’re going to have to do a better job as a community for those children that don’t have the support mechanism at home to teach them about conflict resolution to create some type of environment where they can get that skill set,” said Chief Battiste.

“There are definitely changes that need to be made and there need to be consequences for this bad behavior,” said Judge Naman

Judge Naman said this is troubling, but it’s also a time to get the chance to work in a child’s life and not turn our backs on them.

“This is a good thing. This gives us an opportunity now to deal with those children who I believe were good kids that were way off track on this particular incident. It gives us a chance to work with them so they can repair their lives and reach their potential,” said Judge Naman.

News 5 reached out both Thursday and Friday to Mobile County Public Schools System about both incidents. We were told they are willing to answer our questions, but will not go on camera.

News 5’s Amber Grigley put in a request to speak with the Superintendent Friday morning and have not heard back from them.

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