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Tempers flare between Houston, Louisiana students and their mothers
05:14 PM CDT on Tuesday, September 13, 2005
By Wendell Edwards / 11 News
Click to watch Wendell Edwards' 5pm report
Click to watch video of confrontation between mothers
Three students were taken to area hospitals with injuries from the altercation.
Security will be increased Wednesday at a southeast Houston high school where a fight broke Tuesday between Louisiana and Houston students.
"Man, they were just going at it," said Larry Citizen, a student. "Man, that's all it was -- Louisiana versus Jessie Jones."
When it was over, three Jones High School students were in the hospital and five were in police custody.
The scene got even uglier when parents arrived.
A loud verbal confrontation broke out between mothers of some of the students involved in the first fight.
"They jumped on my nephew inside this school, busted him in the head. They're sending him to the hospital," yelled one woman.
Slideshow: Jones H.S. fight
Police separated the group of women and threatened to arrest them if they didn't calm down.
"They jumped on my son, but yet you want to arrest me," complained one mother.
"Let us work it out, OK?" one HPD officer told the angry parents.
A verbal confrontation broke out between the students' mothers who showed up at the school.
One mother of a student who was arrested ended up in handcuffs herself.
The first fight started around 9 a.m. when a bus rolled up carrying Katrina evacuees enrolled at the school.
According to police, someone threw a can at one of the evacuees and that set off a fight involving several students.
Ambulances were called to the scene to take the injured to Ben Taub Hospital. It's not clear whether they were evacuees or Houston students.
Of the five arrested, Two are from Louisiana and three are Houston students. All are charged with disruption of school activities.
Witnesses at the scene say today's incident was retaliation for another altercation on Friday.
Parents say tensions had been strained since the evacuees started school here last week.
Three Houston students and two from Louisiana were arrested.
"They beat my nephew up. We're from New Orleans," said one woman.
"We need to go home. We need to go home because ya'll don't want us here anyway," said another evacuee.
Michael Lewis says, from his perspective, the students are just mirroring the frustration of many adults.
"You have ladies that have been trying to get on welfare and food stamps, trying to get government assistance, housing. And then evacuees coming here and getting it instantly," said Lewis. "The whole city is a melting pot."
HISD says officials reminded students that fighting of any kind will not be tolerated.
"We expect our children to have behave better than this. Also we've said to the New Orleans kids, you are our guest, but you have to follow the rules." said HISD spokesman Terry Abbott.
Extra police officers and a group of ministers will try to help keep the peace at the school beginning Wednesday.
About 200 evacuees are attending Jones High School in the 7400 block of St. Lo. That's the largest number of evacuee students in any Houston school.
HISD officials say a total of 3,000 Louisiana students are attending their schools.
Online at: http://www.khou.com/news/local/crime/stories/khou050913_mh_jonesfight.5342d5ac.html