BEAUMONT - The Beaumont Independent School District responded to Wednesday's brawl at West Brook High School saying that the safety and security of students is the district's number one priority.
BISD Police Chief Roberto Flores, Jr. and assistant superintendent Dr. Shannon Allen spoke to 12News and both stressed that students must leave campus after school either by bus, car, foot or being picked up by a parent unless they are part of a school sponsored after school activity.
"We know that kids like to be at school. They like to hang out after school, that's the time when they can talk to their friends, they can socialize," Dr. Allen told 12News on Thursday.
Allen mentioned that currently there are several after school activities happening on the West Brook campus like football, volleyball, band and cheerleading.
"These students weren't involved in any of those activities and as a result they should have either gotten on a bus after school, they should have been able to walk home or a parent should have picked them immediately following school," Dr. Allen said.
"We can do a better job of monitoring our students after hours," Flores, told 12News on Thursday.
Flores said the plan to keep students safe has a three part approach and while the district will do its part they will depend on students and parents to do their part.
"Our part is to make sure we have campus administrators and police officers assigned as students are leaving which we already do but we're gonna have to extend that to the portion of the day where students are just basically hanging out on campus," Flores said.
It is up to students and parents to know that the student code of conduct requires students leave campus as soon as possible if they are not involved in official after-school activities he told 12News.
"We accept all responsibility," Flores told 12News.
"There's no excuse for it and We need to a better job. That's what we're gonna work to do," he said.
"What we're gonna ask is that parents also do their part and that students do their part," he added.
Flores said that this would be communicated to both students and parents.
"This is a joint effort. We have those students for a certain amount of time during the day but the biggest influence on them is gonna be the parents," Flores said.
The district released a statement Thursday afternoon asking that parents and students follow the BISD policy that requires students to leave campus immediately following school unless they are participating in a supervised after school activity.
The release also mentioned that students "loitering after school hours" can create an unsafe environment and could be subject to disciplinary action.
If parents fail to pick up students in a reasonable time frame the campus has the authority to make a referral to Child Protective Services according to the release.
Another concern that Flores has is that there was a large crowd of students watching the fight and shooting cell phone video without attempting to notify police or any school official about the fight.
"If you've got a group of kids on the periphery who are using their cell phones to record the event rather than call for help then that's a recipe for someone getting seriously injured or hurt. Not only the people involved in the incident but the people on the periphery," Flores told 12News.
"Students are too conditioned right now to use their cell phones to become a part of the action by recording that event," he said.
Police or school administrators were not notified until a teacher saw the fight and by the time officers, who were were still on campus, arrived the fight appeared to be over.
"We should be training them, teaching them, requiring of them to notify somebody," Flores said.
Read the BISD statement below:
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