Sunflower mom Shekeita George is looking for answers after a video shows her daughter in a fight with three other students at Thomas E. Edwards, Sr. High School. George has concerns about her daughter’s safety at school, and how the situation was handled by school officials.
“They can do better than what they are doing,” George said.
George said she was not contacted by school officials. She learned about the fight through a text from her daughter. George arrived at the school less than an hour after she received the message around 1p.m. last Wednesday. George says she was handed a face mask, seated, and told someone would be out shortly.
“I went and sat down for 20 minutes,” George said. “I thought 20 minutes was just too long for me to be sitting and waiting and not knowing what’s going on with my daughter.”
George says she initiated contact with school officials to see if her daughter could attend school virtually for the remainder of the year. The last day of school for students is nearly a month away on May 26th. George said she was told that would not be possible.
Her daughter is expected to return to school after a five day suspension. School officials told George it was because her daughter was in an unauthorized area at the time of the fight. George said her daughter was told to go to that classroom by a teacher. She believes her daughter received an unfair punishment.
“I don’t even understand why she is suspended and a girl hits her first,” George said. “She’s the victim.”
A disturbing cell phone video circulating on social media appears to show two girls and one boy fighting George’s daughter.
“Everybody started sending it to me,” George said. “The video was taken from multiple different angles.”
George said the class was unsupervised at the time of the fight, and there was no adult there to break it up. George is now concerned about her daughter’s safety.
“I don’t feel like it’s safe to just send her back especially if they don’t have proper security and if a teacher is not held accountable,” George said. “I feel for her safety."
Sunflower County Consolidated School District Superintendent Miskia Davis says the district stands against any actions and behaviors that disrupt our primary mission of educating the students of Sunflower County.
“The concerning altercation at Thomas Edwards Sr. High, along with any alterations that occur on school district campuses, will be thoroughly investigated and the school district's code of conduct will be enforced,” Davis said in a released statement.
Davis believes that it is important to work together to address the issue.
“Many altercations stem from ongoing community and social media interactions that are brought to school,” Davis said. “ As a result, it is imperative that all stakeholders work together to instill values into our children that equip them with the appropriate social skills to resolve conflict inside and outside of school.”
Davis' main focus is making sure the school campuses are safe.
“Posting fights to social media and encouraging retaliation helps no one, and in most instances, exacerbates the issue,” Davis said. “Anger and frustration from parents and community is understandable, but never is it acceptable for students, staff, parents, or community to threaten, berate or blame school officials. We are all in this together, and hopefully all can agree that our school campuses absolutely must be safe spaces for all children and staff.”