Fight breaks out during class change; 8 arrested

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School officials said Thursday they're still trying to find out what happened when a late afternoon hallway disturbance at the Academy of Richmond County erupted into a series of fights involving up to 50 people, calls for help to the sheriff's office and the arrests of at least eight students.

A Richmond County Board of Education public safety officer and Richmond County sheriff's deputies stand outside the Academy of Richmond County after a fight involving students.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
A Richmond County Board of Education public safety officer and Richmond County sheriff's deputies stand outside the Academy of Richmond County after a fight involving students.

Six students began to fight during class change, according to a statement released by School Superintendent Dana Bedden. That grew as a crowd surrounding the fight was drawn into it, he said. The crowd grew so large that law enforcement officers said it appeared hundreds of students were in the hallway, making it difficult to move.

Dr. Bedden said four juveniles and four students 17 and older were charged with disorderly conduct. Police said more students might be charged.

Richmond County jail records show that Taurean Cammack, of the 4100 block of Foreman Way in Hephzibah; Jessie Demetrius Shelley, of the 1800 block of Greene Street, and Linzey Rashawn Abney, of the 700 block of Eve Street, were among those arrested.

Julia Porter-Stein, school board director of public safety, said the incident remains under investigation and many details are unclear.

Senior Brianna Mack, a member of The Augusta Chronicle Teen Board, said the fight broke out after a fashion show held in the school's auditorium.

Rowdy music was playing and students began yelling the year of their graduating class, she said. Some students from the Harrisburg community started flashing neighborhood gestures or "signs." She said about 400 people were in the auditorium and about 100 people were involved in the altercation in the hallway.

Patricia Asmundson, an active ARC parent, said Thursday it was obvious to her daughter, who has attended the school for four years, that several people in the overcrowded auditorium weren't students.

A teacher asked anyone who wasn't a student to leave, however, no one did, Ms. Asmundson said in a telephone interview.

The fight occurred after the show was over and students were changing class in the hallway, she said. Her younger daughter, a sophomore, told her the incident was loud and out of control. Some students ran across the parking lot to get away, she said.

Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Darrell Wright said his units were called to the school to help.

"We were mainly just there to make sure everything was OK," said Sgt. Wright, who estimated that about 50 people were involved.

No one appeared injured by the fight, but Dr. Bedden said a female student suffered an asthma attack and was transported to the hospital.

Staff Writer Sarah Day Owen contributed to this report.

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truetolife
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truetolife 04/04/08 - 04:04 am
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It is just a shame that our

It is just a shame that our children cannot get along without fighting. It's sad that they can't go to see entertainment and be at peace. I pray hat they get it together while they are stiil down here and they still have a chance too, before it's too late!

mutt
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mutt 04/04/08 - 05:12 am
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What is really sad is that we

What is really sad is that we adults don't see that we have spared the rod and spoiled our children.They have little or no discipline. There are no real consequences for their actions, until the trouble is overwhelming. You gotta "nip it in the bud". A tenderized behind never permanently damaged anyone.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 04/04/08 - 05:14 am
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What was a male with a

What was a male with a Hephzibah address doing at ARC?

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 04/04/08 - 05:43 am
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"..............A teacher

"..............A teacher asked anyone who wasn't a student to leave, however, no one did"......................... No one actually checked?? Looks like you just can't put that many "kids" together without an altercation of some kind...

"Rowdy music was playing and students began yelling the year of their graduating class, she said. Some students from the Harrisburg community started flashing neighborhood gestures or "signs." She said about 400 people were in the auditorium and about 100 people were involved in the altercation in the hallway."..........................this does not sound like a school function..does it???

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/04/08 - 06:05 am
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A fashion show, kids present

A fashion show, kids present that don't go to ARC, gang signs flashing. Just more indication that there's a BIG difference between a public access school and a government school where things like respect, responsibility and honor are never stressed from the beginning of school all the way up to the fight. The appearance of separation of church from state must be maintained at all cost. Good plan. Nice fight. Let's hope Dr Bedden wasn't called in too late to straighten this mess out.

charlie-D
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charlie-D 04/04/08 - 06:37 am
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Right on PT, I might add who

Right on PT, I might add who the heck is running the school and for that matter, the entire education system in RC? Unfortunately, I don't believe this is an isolated incident, I believe it has become the norm for the entire national educational system!

oh bull
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oh bull 04/04/08 - 06:39 am
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nothing but trash

nothing but trash

bill63
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bill63 04/04/08 - 06:40 am
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""...sigh..., Good Lord." You

""...sigh..., Good Lord." You flunk the logical essay writing test.

magikman4422
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magikman4422 04/04/08 - 06:41 am
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teachers are getting paid

teachers are getting paid peanuts already. what next, they're gonna have to take s.w.a.t. team classes just so they can make it home everyday. this type of crap is happening everyday, this story just got out. it 's sad. these are the rejects that will be leading our country one day. i'm terrified. i like to say to all you underpaid, unappreciated,babysitting child raisers, cough excuse me.. i mean teachers thank you for what you do. maybe one day you can go to work and do your craft. have a good day teachers! be safe!

naugliberal
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naugliberal 04/04/08 - 06:46 am
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"government schools." As

"government schools." As your hero Ronnie Reagan said, "there you go again." Get another drum.

Frank
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Frank 04/04/08 - 06:51 am
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What exactly does "church and

What exactly does "church and state" have to do with this Patricia? This is a situation of people where they don't belong, undisciplined youth, and lack of control of the situation... "A teacher asked anyone who wasn't a student to leave, however, no one did, Ms. Asmundson said in a telephone interview." You don't ASK someone that isn't a student to leave, you order them, if they don't you inform the public safety officer and have them arrested, they shouldn't be there in the first place. As far as the gang issue, that's been a problem at ARC for years,. There were gang problems when I attended ARC in the early 90's.. Those people involved should be expelled

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 04/04/08 - 06:58 am
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I think a lot more arrests

I think a lot more arrests should be made, and why not have a POE Public Safety officer in attendance when there is any type of assembly. Point out to them anyone you feel is not a student and let them handle it. That is what they are there for. It's called common sense people, make use of it!

griesella
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griesella 04/04/08 - 07:08 am
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The students seem to want to

The students seem to want to act like 5th graders, so treat them like 5th graders. Have them form a line and have someone in the doorway to check them into the auditorium. There have always been idiots in schools, they were just better controlled.

Justthefacts please
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Justthefacts please 04/04/08 - 07:13 am
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Tribalism triumphs again! And

Tribalism triumphs again! And some government bureaucrats still oppose parents' rights to put their children in private schools, or home school them. You can't have an education system that functions smoothly if you are trying to teach the savages that roam the classrooms and hallways.

naugliberal
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naugliberal 04/04/08 - 07:17 am
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"Tribalism"? "Savages"?

"Tribalism"? "Savages"? Hard to figure out where you're coming from.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/04/08 - 07:18 am
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naug liberal, the status quo

naug liberal, the status quo is messed up. Is that why you wish for it to remain the same? The decline of government schools is due to the propaganda that is taught instead of concentrating on education. Your apparent lack of understanding may well be a result of your education and not just foolish obstinance. This drum still needs to be beat for a while.

Riverman1
84130
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Riverman1 04/04/08 - 07:28 am
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The fashion show part struck

The fashion show part struck me too as key here.

LadyCisback
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LadyCisback 04/04/08 - 07:30 am
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Children, kids, teenagers..

Children, kids, teenagers.. whatever!!!.. Have absolutely no home training!!!!..At all.. They are disrespectful and rude most of them. Some are well behaved but that's just a handful in the entire student body of a school....

WHATDIDIDO
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WHATDIDIDO 04/04/08 - 07:32 am
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I am sick and tired of

I am sick and tired of hearing about " Government Schools". I am willing to bet that over 90% of our schools are " Government School", yet this type of situation rarely take place. If you dislike " Government Schools" so much, withdraw Junior and send him to a Private school at your own expense. I am willing to bet that the Majority of our so called leaders of toady, are products of a " Government School ".

LOLorCRY
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LOLorCRY 04/04/08 - 07:34 am
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None of the people arrested

None of the people arrested (listed above) live in the ARC zone. My children attend ARC and the metal detectors at the main entrance have never been used in the four years my oldest has attended. There is one ---only one---RCBOE officer assigned to this school with 1600 attending. I have spoken with him and he has said it is impossible for him to enforce control without more assistance...and the BOE cut the funding for the officers just last year! Cafeteria food fights, flare guns being shot off by administration to try to control fights, etc. occur regularly. The overcrowding is a result of the No Child Left Behind law, which allows parents to send their children to a school that passes the yearly progress report. Unfortunately, the result is an overcrowded school, and empties the school that didn't make the grade. Thus the skewed results of the recent audit, which shows underattendance for certain schools. There is no easy or quick solution to these problems. More parents will need to be involved to realize a solution, and compromises will have to be made.

CSRAider
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CSRAider 04/04/08 - 07:35 am
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I am a gradgit frum ARC I

I am a gradgit frum ARC I know that u can do what u want. I tink dat if you gonna have sumpin goin on den u should maybe have sum extra hep to keep de peace. Maybe keep loafers out de school cuz de gonna cauz trouble.

CKB
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CKB 04/04/08 - 07:37 am
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Not only should the students

Not only should the students be held accountable, the parnets should be also. Was Dr. Bedden at the school during all of this? What is going to happen? All eyes are upon you, Dr Bedden. Welcome to the waste can of the south! No respect for anyone or anything seems to be the motto of these thugs. These thugs should have a "boot camp" to go to for the rest of the school year- at least. they would at least enjoy repeating their current grade. Augusta needs a BOOT CAMP to send these kids to to be disciplined by the toughest of the toughest drill sargents! If there should be a second boot camp admission, there should be prison time! There has to be a way to get back in control of happenings like this.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/04/08 - 07:41 am
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Hypo, government schools have

Hypo, government schools have deteriorated to a level that many of us no longer feel is "good enough". If you still feel the level of education offered is "good enough" ....fine. I'm happy for you. But, parents that feel they're getting a poor return on their investment and feel the decline isn't acceptable for their kids education need to speak up, loud and often. Some of us will settle, some of us will continue to strive for improvement. I happy you're comfortable with your choice.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/04/08 - 07:43 am
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well said CSRAider.

well said CSRAider.

shortylady4u
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shortylady4u 04/04/08 - 07:43 am
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when i lived in augusta,some

when i lived in augusta,some long years ago,this used to be a very good school.but i guess as the years change,so do the schools.i have been away from augusta since 1969,so i know things in augusta have changed.

mover5
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mover5 04/04/08 - 07:43 am
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this has been going on at arc

this has been going on at arc for years. i graduated in 96 and can remember a brawl in the lunchroom in which people were seriously injured.

shortylady4u
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shortylady4u 04/04/08 - 07:45 am
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i live in new orleans now and

i live in new orleans now and things are not much better here either.we just have to deal with life as the lord deals it to us.

captainscott
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captainscott 04/04/08 - 07:48 am
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I graduated from ARC in 1979,

I graduated from ARC in 1979, when it was 20% black, 80% white. In the 3 years I was there, we never had anything remotely close to this happen. Now, it's 80% black, 20% white, and things like this happen all the time. In 1979, there was no need for metal detectors or police on campus. Now, it's a war zone. Get mad all you want, African Americans, you are the majority of the jailbirds because you cause most of the trouble. I personally know a teacher there who took a cut in pay to go teach in a private school ( she'd been there over 20 years), because she was "tired of the undisciplined, loud, and obnoxious students." Discipline starts at home, and with the latest govt statistics showing a 65% illegitimate birth rate among blacks, I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Cosby's right. You can call me racist, prejudiced, whatever, but you can also call me " right." Hey, CSRAider, this is how a post looks written in English.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 04/04/08 - 07:50 am
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shortlady, I thing the lord

shortlady, I thing the lord gives us free will. Just taking things as the will be has led to this mess. Trying to do better gives us schools like A R Johnson and Davidson. Almost never a fight in either school. Students are there to learn and improve. Parents are involved and teachers are dedicated. Just waiting for the "deal" won't reach these objectives

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 04/04/08 - 08:00 am
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LOL @ captainscott you are

LOL @ captainscott you are BUT you want say that to anyone in their face... you want speak that OPENLY in the public, have a news conference from your statement, let's see who you are LOL... you can post here and rant your racist rant but you will NEVER say it out in the open. In 1979 I was a sophomore at Josey and the black white ratio was about 70% black to 30% white and we ALL GOT ALONG....

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