Parents concerned after fights take place at APS

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(ABC 6 News) – We’re looking into a series of violent fights at Austin Public Schools after several parents reached out to us for answers from the district.

Parents and students are telling us there’s been violent fighting at APS almost every day for the last couple of weeks.

Some students are saying fighting at Austin Public Schools is getting in the way of their studies whether it’s a genuine fear of the violence or just blocking the halls in passing periods.

Students and parents are concerned it’s an unsafe learning environment.

Fighting in the hallways, In the stairwells and in the classroom. Just weeks before school lets out for the summer.

Many of these fights happened on school grounds during school hours. We took several videos we received to parents within the district.

“Oh yeah here’s a totally different one. Oh my goodness.”

To get their reaction.

“Uncalled for. That shouldn’t be going on in school,” Mark May said.

Many said they had already heard about the fighting from their children or their neighbors. And while everyone shared the same concern. No one nailed down a solution.

“Parents are trusting the school to take care of the kids and not let them get into situations where somebody could get hurt. Yeah, they’re going to have to figure out something,” Sean Byers said.

“I think the district and the teachers as a whole, their hands are tied. Because parents come in and complain,” May said.

After declining multiple interview requests, ABC 6 News stopped by the district office where we were told Superintendent Joey Page would not answer our questions or talk to us on camera.

Page did give a written statement that reads – in part –

“We know we have work to do to prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place. We are implementing additional preventive measures to increase school safety and ensure a positive and welcoming learning environment for our students.”

According to Austin police, a school resource officer was involved in resolving some of the fights. After declining multiple interview requests, ABC 6 News visited the Austin Police Department to ask what they’re doing to keep students safe.

“Everybody else is gone too.”

We were turned away.

Austin Police Chief David McKichan also released a written statement that reads in part

“There are times that we do intervene, investigate, potentially issue citations, and/or forward cases for review to the county attorney’s office who handles juvenile justice matters. At that stage, the juvenile justice system is attempting to divert, counsel, supervise, and provide corrective support to juveniles and families.”

Even with many unanswered questions for parents and students – one thing is clear. Something has to change.

“What’s to say its going to stop there? I mean we have school shootings, heaven forbid that that would ever occur in our community.”

“If something isn’t done about it now then kids are going to say well next year we’re going to do the same thing.”

While the district would not go into detail about their solutions. We learned from a student that the high school has adopted it’s bathroom policy, so that only one student per class is allowed a hall pass to use the restroom at a time. They say there’s more work to be done, but it’s a step in the right direction.