7 teens arrested following brawl at South Cobb High
by Rachel Gray
March 18, 2014 04:00 AM | 25746 views | 124 124 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Cobb High School
South Cobb High School
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AUSTELL — Seven students were arrested Monday afternoon after a brawl inside South Cobb High School, on the corner of Clay Road and Austell Road, which ended with police officers dousing the fighting teenagers with pepper spray.

Of the seven students arrested, five will be charged as juveniles and two as adults, said Doug Goodwin with the Cobb County School District. By the end of the school day Monday, Goodwin said he did not know what charges would be filed.

One 19-year-old senior at South Cobb High School, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Keanna, said there was a mass of people gathering in the hallway at lunch time.

“I heard somebody got jumped,” said Keanna.

During the fight, Keanna said Cobb County School District police officers rushed the crowd, releasing pepper spray, which caused the group of students to start coughing and wheezing.

Then, Keanna reported at least one student pulled from the fight.

“His shirt was all tore up,” she said.

Goodwin said the only people exposed to the pepper spray where the seven students involved in the altercation.

Word spread immediately Monday afternoon that South Cobb High School teachers, who helped break up the fight, were at the hospital being treated for exposure to pepper spray.

But according to Goodwin, only one of the officers was treated for exposure to pepper spray.

Ron Storey, the school district’s public safety director, said officers spray the chemical designed to irritate eyes, causing pain and temporary blindness, for crowd control.

“Usually, they will use it if there is a mass amount of people,” Storey said.

The district employs 38 police officers, so each high school always has at least one officer on campus. Seven Cobb high schools have two officers at a time, Storey said. Starting this academic year, each high school also has one marked squad car on campus.

On Monday afternoon, both officers assigned to South Cobb High School responded to the fight.

Fighting common in South Cobb

Another 19-year-old senior at South Cobb High School, David Larios, said fights often break out when the weather is bad.

Instead of students venturing out for lunch, the teenagers stay at school during hot weather or cold rain, like Monday afternoon.

“It all depends on the weather,” Larios said.

For guys, Larios said fights can break out over shoes being stepped on, especially Air Jordan’s. The “J’s” are original, retro designs that can cost as much as $500 a pair.

In this case, Larios said the fight started between two girls over “Facebook drama,” with one standing on a table at lunch time.

Larios said the issue was building throughout the morning, with gossip during classes about the possibility of a fight.

“It was anticipated,” Larios said.

South Cobb High School, under the leadership of principal Ashley Hosey since 2009, is comprised of many red-brick buildings with outside walkways and exposed spaces, including the fenced area sectioning off the football field, Clay Stadium.

Most of the time, Larios said police officers are not near the scene when the fight starts. The officers often catch up to the action with pepper spray and batons, often called nightsticks, to break up a fight, he said.

“Innocent victims get hurt,” said Larios, who wants Cobb teachers trained on “how to defend themselves and defend other students.”

“Teachers need to step their game up … It’s not the 1980s,” said Larios, emphasizing that Cobb schools deal with “heavy stuff” like “drugged-up” students.

Storey said it is often administrators and teachers who are closest to a fight.

“It is just a matter of getting them broke up and restrained,” Storey said.

As of fall 2013, there were 1,998 students enrolled at South Cobb High School, with 115 teachers on staff, Goodwin said.



Comments
(124)
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solovableinpink
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April 04, 2014
this has been my 1st and last year at south cobb and this is a really ghetto school and the surroundings and everything terrible and what the people said is totally true like foreal this is a terrible situation and im glad im not Attending this school next year im not a proud student of this school.... JUST PLAIN OLE GHETTO AND HOOD AND A TERRIBLE SCHOOL!!!!!!!!
fermie125
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March 26, 2014
I am a South Cobb HS Class of 97' alumni and I can attest to the fact that SC was a crap hole of a school when I was there back in the 90's, and I'm sure it is even more so today. Fights were a weekly if not daily occurrence when I attended. The student body caste system broke down as such - you were either a stoned-out loser with no college aspirations, a gang-banger wannabie with no college aspirations, or someone who actually gave a damn and wanted to make it in the world and escape the depressing hell hole that was SC. Rest assured the college-bound students were a select minority. The vast majority of the student body coasted through their high school experience doing little to prepare themselves for making an actual living.
70's student
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March 20, 2014
This happens all the time, everywhere. When I went to SC from 77-80, these things happened then. South Cobb HS is and always will be a wonderful school, lets not allow an article such as this to tarnish it's name. Go War Eagles!
Tony Cain
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March 19, 2014
A fight can start over a $500 pair of shoes? Then why am I helping to pay for the schools? If kids and parents can afford $500 shoes, you don't need my help with your "education."

Don't you understand that Michael Jordan is not a hero or a role model but just a business man scamming his own race?
Concerned Student
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March 19, 2014
Dear SC Man (aka the self-appointed grammar policeman for the MDJ comments section),

Seriously, get a life and get off the grammar train! If the grammar in these posts bothers you more than the fabricated lies that occurred in the MDJ about SCHS yesterday, I suggest you pry yourself from behind your desk (or that rock you're living under), earn an English degree, and become a teacher. Since your grammar is so perfect, I dare you to make a difference in our lives! And while you're earning that degree, please take some sensitivity classes because this isn't the time or place to add insult to injury. And as Benjamin Franklin once said, "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do."

Signed, sealed and delivered for all my SCHS teachers, family & friends...Stay Strong Eagles!
SC Man
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March 19, 2014
To Concerned Student.

Many of the posts admitted there was a fight so the article wasn't all lies as many have mentioned.

What is concerning is that many of these posts talk about how smart the students are at SCHS and yet they write like fifth graders.

Concerned Student
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March 20, 2014
Dear SC Man (and other grammar policemen),

Thank you for your continued feedback and concerns about the writing skills of SCHS students. Again, I encourage you, and others like you, to make a difference instead of just complaining about it. And, if you really knew SCHS, you'd see that there are more students, like me for example, who care and can write better than a fifth grader. It's an insult that out of these 117 posts, you're all going to pass judgment on the whole. How typical!

And in the age of iPhone technology, most of the student posts were written from their cellphones. Do you always send perfectly written texts with special attention given to grammar & spelling? On the day in question, I’m sure that many weren’t concerned about spelling, proper comma placement, capitalizing their letters, and/or using correct subject-verb agreement. They just wanted their voice to be heard.

And, since we're dissecting comments, let me address yours about the fight. I never said there wasn't a fight. I was there, you weren’t. You didn’t see all the great things that my teachers did to assist innocent bystanders, nor did you see students helping others to safety. I merely mentioned that the MDJ article contained fabricated lies, which it did, more so than the truth about what occurred that day.

Well, hopefully this is the end of this conversation. I’m done with worrying about people like you that could care less about students like me. Well, I guess I’d better finish my lunch so I can get to class and learn Spanish. ¿Habla usted español? Porque puedo hablar, escribir y leer otro idioma, también. Para un estudiante a SCHS, advino que soy más inteligente que un estudiante en el quinto grado, ¿no?

Just Don't Get It
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March 19, 2014
Message to South Cobb: Ban together to start a remedial writing class. You need it, just the same as you need a class on prison prevention and the value of two-parent households and less reliance on the government. Read up on it. I don't see how the opinion of what is causing the problem is going to solve the problem. Baby Daddy might want to be in the equation.

SC Band Parent
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March 18, 2014
I am sadden by this article! My child is proud of the school that they attend. To write lies about a high school is just low and ridiculous! How do you think that this makes the community feel when we read this crap about our school. What is wrong with you? Do you not find out all of the facts before you go and write stories like this? We are a military family and to have our child in a school for her high school time is important! ! We do not want them to feel shamed when they are filling our their college applications or resumes. This article is so wrong for implanting seeds to the public that our school is basically the scum of the county!! Please excuse any mistakes but right now I am so saddened and angry about the slander that our school has just received!!
SC Dad
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March 18, 2014
Wow, what a horrible and ignorant article. I have a daughter in the magnet program at SC. Have you seen the accomplishments of some of these kids? I wouldn't have her at any other school. I'll be honest, I live in east cobb. I want to see an article about the drug and alcohol use and promiscuity of these teens at the high schools in east cobb. How about a gun found found at east cobb middle school a couple of days ago? If you think fights only happens at "certain" schools, then the people reading your article are more ignorant than you are. Get your facts straight. You are way off on this one.
SCHSJuniorGoEagles
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March 18, 2014
First off, the fight did not happen at lunch, there was no facebook drama, no one was put into the hospital, im not even sure there is a david larios that goes to south cobb. Just because a few students dont have common sense enough to leave the crap at home or in the streets does not mean the whole school is corrupt and unsafe. Yes some students get robbed or fight, but that happens at most all high schools. Its no suprise, why make our school seem worse than it is? Maybe you should come spend a day or two at our school and see, "we are not what people may think, we are not what people may say, we are better than they can ever imagine, because we are south cobb" ... And every one who is believing this article should be ashamed, they are believing what this article says, when they are the main ones teaching their kids dont listen to everything you read or hear, get the facts, ask questions. And the fact that there are many teachers and students ACTUAL SOUTH COBB STUDENTS Saying that article is false, you should all come see for yourself that south cobb really isnt that bad at all. And to the people upset about grammar and everything else, we will not apologize for being upset and mot thinking about grammar when we are upset. And trust me, south Cobb is Angry ;)
Dumbfounded2
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March 18, 2014
What I find most appalling about this entire mess is the absolute lack of language, writing, punctuation and grammar skills of these South Cobb High School students sounding off here. I graduated from South Cobb High School years ago, and I would have been expected to write better when I was in sixth grade. If this is the best South Cobb has to offer, then we are in deep doggie do. We are in really deep doggie do. I am dumbfounded at the high school students writing out here that wouldn't know an adjective from a noun from a pronoun from a verb and a comma and a period if they met them.
Wife of a SC Teacher
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March 20, 2014
You are concerned about their use of the English language, and you just used the phrase "doggie do?" Plus, have you ever heard of a comma?

"I am dumbfounded at the high school students writing out here that wouldn't know an adjective from a noun from a pronoun from a verb and a comma and a period if they met them."

Here, let me correct this for you.

I am dumbfounded at the high school students writing out here that wouldn't know an adjective from a noun from a pronoun from a verb and a comma and a period if they met them."

That's called a list of prepositional phrases, and should therefore require a comma separating each of them.

Thanks to all the SCHS people who know the truth and are standing up for their school.
Proud Alumni
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March 18, 2014
It is funny how the same company that published an article just one year ago praising south cobb now talks so disrespectfully about it. The problem is not the school but the students. Yes some teachers are bad but thats life. I am in college now and the professors I pay 40͵000 a year for are terrible. Mr.Hosey works hard to avoid incidents such as these and the MDJ has the audacity to get its informatio. from a 19 year old senior!!!! Lets be real if parents did a better jo raising their children the school system wouldnt have to. Print that in your article
Dr. J.C. Johnson
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March 18, 2014
Consider the source of the article, The Marietta Daily Journal! They are all about sensationalism and lies. Most people in Cobb County know that the MDJ uses every form of propaganda technique to get people to read their paper. I really feel sorry for those who believe everything they read in the MDJ. As a retired Cobb County educator, I know what I'm talking about. Shame on the MDJ for not reporting the facts.
TruthSometimesHurts
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March 18, 2014
Ms. Gray, thank you and your paper for having the journalistic integrity to report this troubling incident at one of our public schools. In today's socially sensitive and politically correct environment many media organizations would not report this story.

Commenters, Ms. Gray, and her paper, is not the problem. Her job is to report the story and that's what I read.... a news story. I do not read any prejudice or bias against either South Cobb High School or the South Cobb community in her news story. She simply reported what she was told by 'officials' and included comments made by a couple of students. Ms. Gray is a reporter and reporting the news is her job; and, reporting the news is the job of her paper.

Many of you have commented that the story is a lie (or at least exaggerated) and that the comments of the students don't represent South Cobb High School. The fact is there was a fight and seven (7) students were arrested by Cobb County. And someone needs to be held accountable for this incident at South Cobb High School but Ms. Gray and the MDJ should not be 'Jumped' because they did their job and reported the news.

The truth sometimes hurts and if you're a supporter of South Cobb High School then this story hurts but you don't kill the messenger. Rather, you honestly look at the situation and figure out how to make it better. Maybe this story is a wakeup call for the South Cobb community.

Finally, I'm in no way associated with Ms. Gray or the MDJ but I am a life long reader of the MDJ and over the years I've read news stories, editorials, columns and letters that support my views and perspective. But, also, over the years I've read news stories, editorials, columns and letters that are polar opposite of my views and perspective of things. I've read reporting that has made me mad and raised my blood pressure but in the end I realize that this is what the 'Press' is about... reporting the good, the bad and the ugly and sometimes it hurts but thank God we have a free press.
Don't blame Gray
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March 18, 2014
I am unclear as to why all these comments are bashing Rachel Gray. Everything she stated came from students and staff from SCHS. She is reporting what she was told. It is what it is! Blame the people who told the facts, not the reporter!
Adorkable42
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March 18, 2014
This is not news to me- I went to this school back in the late 90s and thankfully, I left and transferred to a different school for my senior year. South Cobb is an awful school, totally ghetto. Fights broke out often and I see that they still do. Kids were bullied all the time, including myself and nothing was done about it. The staff didn't care. I'm amazed at these comments about South Cobb being a great school- seems like a lot of you are delusional.
SCHS Student
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March 18, 2014
The experiences at this school are very mixed. It seems parents are here to leave their two cents on how great and amazing the school is without being face to face with the situation. I've been attending this school for only three years and not only have I experienced lazy, careless teachers but outrageous students up to NO GOOD. I was robbed twice during my freshman year. I witnessed smoking in the bathroom stalls. I was treated unfairly by many teachers. South Cobb is NOT a great school, I am 110% sure of that.
schschs
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March 18, 2014
I highly doubt that this is true
SCHS Student
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March 18, 2014
I go to South Cobb too. You may have experienced some bad things at South Cobb but who hasn't experienced bad things at there school. Even though I'm a freshman South Cobb isn't bad. Yes we have fights and Yes we do have some bad students but that happens in all high schools. WE can't say that our surrounding high schools are picture perfect with high GPA's & No fights.
Mrs.ProtectSCH
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March 18, 2014
I was there and what you have written in your news report is a bunch of lies. I need you to talk with real people that attend SCH not make-believe people to make this school look bad. I really like SCH I'm tired of people not doing what is right like standing up for the school and the staff by going in the school and seeing how your child is behaving before you think they are being singled out, then you would know the truth on who causing what. ITS NOW TO TAKE A STAND AND TAKE BACK OUR SCHOOLS OUR NEIGHBORHOODS. WHO'S WITH ME ONE VOICE, ONE POWER WE STAND TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY... LET'S TAKE BACK OUR LOST YOUTH TIME TO RILEY....
High Schooler Laugh
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March 18, 2014
A comma should have gone in the first sentence because both statements between the "and" are complete standalone sentences. Among other flaws in the second sentence "make-believe" is not hyphenated. Period after SCH in third sentence, since that begins a totally new sentence. Its in the next sentence would be "it's" with an apostrophe as it refers to "it is" and is not here in the possessive form. Among many other things I can mark with this post, I totally agree LET'S TAKE BACK OUR LOST YOUTH. This is a prime example of someone that missed too many English classes or has incompetent teachers. Let's find out which one and work to correct it.
High Schooler Laugh
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March 18, 2014
A comma should have gone in the first sentence because both statements between the "and" are complete standalone sentences. Among other flaws in the second sentence "make-believe" is not hyphenated. Period after SCH in third sentence, since that begins a totally new sentence. Its in the next sentence would be "it's" with an apostrophe as it refers to "it is" and is not here in the possessive form. Among many other things I can mark with this post, I totally agree LET'S TAKE BACK OUR LOST YOUTH. This is a prime example of someone that missed too many English classes or has incompetent teachers. Let's find out which one and work to correct it.
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