MISSOURI CITY, Texas – The video of a Fort Bend ISD student being brutally beaten by a classmate has sent shockwaves through the district.
Many parents wanted to know where the teachers were when dozens of students gathered for the fight last week at Thurgood Marshall High School in Missouri City.
KHOU 11 News contacted the Fort Bend ISD and the school board again Wednesday, but that question remained unanswered. The district refused to comment since the matter involves minors, school personnel and a police investigation.
Only one of the school board’s seven members responded to an inquiry to say that she was discouraged and disappointed.
The victim’s mother, Tamela Flowers, is also disappointed. Hours before the fight, Flowers said she warned the 10th grade principal about the threats against her daughter. Flowers said the principal assured her that he was on top of it.
Instead, her daughter was attacked by a bully who used a lock inside a sock for a weapon. She had to go to the hospital to get staples in her head.
"She could have lost her eye," Flowers said.
When Flowers confronted the principal, he told her it had slipped his mind.
"I don’t understand how you allow something potentially life threatening to slip your mind," Flowers said.
The fight happened after school, as faculty left for the day. What is still difficult to understand is how no teacher heard it or saw it in time to stop it.
So far, no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.
A number of elected leaders, including Rep. Sylvester Turner of Houston, plan to hold a news conference Thursday where they will express outrage over the video seen in the 11 News report.
Turner said this is just one example of how "we're losing control of our schools."
UPDATE -- The following letter was sent home to Marshall High parents and guardians on Wednesday:
May 2, 2012
Dear Marshall High School Parents and Guardians,
As you may know, the Fort Bend ISD Police are actively investigating an altercation that occurred on Friday, April 27, involving two of our sophomore students. The altercation took place in a back stairwell of our school at approximately 2:40 p.m. during dismissal time. We regret that one of the students involved in the altercation was injured and required medical treatment.
The safety of our students and staff is the District’s highest priority. The District takes this matter very seriously, and the Fort Bend ISD Police investigation is ongoing and being conducted as thoroughly and quickly as possible. The District is also investigating an alleged report of bullying and the campus administration’s response.
We have additional police assistance at our campus during arrival and dismissal times. In addition, extra teachers and administrators are monitoring our hallways and stairwells between classes and during arrival and dismissal times.
Fort Bend ISD has a number of ways to assist students on how to stay safe, which include:
Talking to campus counselors when they are at school. Campus counselors are available to talk to students about any concerns.
Using TalkLine, a 24/7 crisis hotline for students to call to get immediate assistance with any kind of problem. TalkLine received over 4,400 calls during the first 12 months of operation. Call TalkLine at 281.240.TALK.
Calling an anonymous Student Crime Stoppers Hotline that students can use to report concerns about their safety or concerns about the safety of others. Call the Student Crime Stoppers Hotline at 281.491.TIPS (281.491.8477).
If there is an emergency, call 911 or the Fort Bend ISD Police at 281.634.5500 which is answered 24/7.
We ask our students to talk with a trusted adult – a teacher, counselor, administrator or police officer – if anyone or anything makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. We are currently reviewing these reporting procedures and using information obtained in this investigation to immediately make whatever changes are necessary at our campus to ensure the safety of our students.
Please feel free to call our campus with any questions or concerns.