Recent altercations, video being probed by Port Arthur ISD

Published 2:28 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

Officials with Port Arthur Independent School District, looking to prevent any possible physical altercations, on Monday issued a statement to students and parents through social media.

The original message was posted to the Memorial 9th Grade Academy’s Facebook page and shared by the district.

“The principal at (Memorial High School 9th Grade Center) was being proactive and getting ahead of any possible weekend altercations that may have happened between students before everyone arrived on campus today (Monday),” said Adrienne Lott, media and communications specialist.

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Lott did not reference any particular incident that might have occurred over the weekend.

The message provides information on the district’s stance on fighting and bullying, saying it has zero tolerance for the behavior. The post also addresses consequences for the violations.

“If your child was engaged in an off-campus altercation this weekend, it is our sincere hope that all issues will be resolved prior to arriving at school tomorrow (Monday) morning,” the post read. “The Memorial 9th Grade campus’ responsibility is to ensure every child is safe, protected and educated! The Memorial 9th Grade campus is not a boxing ring and has a ZERO TOLERANCE for any behaviors that are not aligned with personal and educational growth.”

The allusion to a possible altercation comes days after a social media video surfaced that allegedly shows two girls at Lincoln Middle School in a verbal altercation and a woman believed to be a teacher spur the girls on to fight.

Superintendent Mark Porterie declined to comment on the alleged incident at Lincoln and the one over the weekend between 9th graders.

Lott said the alleged incident at Lincoln is a personnel issue and the district is not commenting.

Port Arthur ISD School Board President Debra Ambroise likewise said she could not comment.

“Unfortunately because there are personnel issues and matters legally, I cannot comment on this,” Ambroise said of the alleged Lincoln incident. “It is unfortunate, all of this is going on in the middle of us educating our children, plus the pandemic and so many other things.

“We are handling the situations, but can’t discuss them at this time.”

PAISD Police Chief Alton Baise did not comment on either alleged incident but gave information on what the department’s duty is during altercations.

“Our responsibility is to break up fights, and the administration handles any disciplinary matters after that,” Baise said.

Baise said police are there to prevent injuries. Should a physical altercation end in an injury, PAISD PD goes through the Justice of the Peace courts if the parents choose to file charges.

The police department’s course of action is aligned with the severity of the injury.

Class C assault will be handled by the JP Court, while Class A and above are filed through the juvenile detention system, Baise said.

“All we can say is that we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law for any violence that occurs on district property,” he said.