Parents, students support principals decision in bullying situat -

Parents, students support principals decision in bullying situation

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By Adam McDonald By Adam McDonald

( -- Parents and students have come to the defense of a St. Louis school principal who was recently criticized for his response to bullying happening at his school.

McKinley Classical Leadership Academy Principal Earl Williams recently came under fire after parents claimed they warned him of bullying at the school. Parents also claim they gave him a list of students who were going to be attacked and who the attackers were.

They claim Williams was given the list the day before a major fight between the two groups broke out and he did nothing. However, many parents say he handled the situation properly when it escalated. Supporters backed Williams’ decision not to have police pursue criminal charges against those involved. 


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( -- Parents believe the principal at McKinley Classical Leadership Academy should have done more to prevent a fight that left a student badly beaten.

Tracy Peoples’ 16 year-old daughter told News 4 that she and her friends were repeatedly bullied, even threatened by a group of students.

“Whoop [us]. Smack us, jump us,” the teen said. The teen asked to withhold her identity out of safety concerns.

Peoples said she stepped in Friday morning, before classes began, and approached the high school principal.

“We gave him [the principal] a list of maybe 10, 12, 14 kids that were the attackers,” she said. “And we gave him a list of the kids that they planned to attack.” Peoples said she believes honor roll students were being targeted.

St. Louis Public Schools said after the principal received the list he required all the students on it to meet with the school counselor. A few hours later, a massive fight broke out among the group. At least two families say their children won’t return to the high school out of fear for their safety.

St. Louis Public School officials say they cannot comment on the disciplinary action, but said in a statement:

"An altercation took place at McKinley High School on Friday, January 30, 2015 at approximately 12:45 p.m. The District Safety and Security Department is investigating the incident. All students involved in the altercation will be disciplined per District policy.”

“It really stresses me out,” said one of the students. “And it takes a toll on me as a person because I shouldn’t have to go to school and worry.”

School officials say the district's Safety and Security Department is investigating the incident. At this point, investigators believe there is no evidence that points to students being targeted for their honor roll status.

In the meantime, the families’ attorneys have presented the district with a list of demands, which includes allowing for the school transfer of the assault victims.  The families are also calling on the district to prosecute the students involved in the attack.

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