More arrests made following outbreak of fights at West Bladen High School


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Submitted: Tue, 03/31/2009 - 10:19pm
Updated: Fri, 06/07/2013 - 1:52am By:

After a riot at West Bladen High School resulted in ten arrests yesterday. Students and parents had the chance to relax today, but for teachers, it was back to work. West Bladen students say concentrating in class is hard enough without worrying about safety. After yesterday's fights, school administrators say they're taking the steps to make sure the students can once again focus on their studies. “School is pretty hard by itself, and all this other violence and stuff around me; it's just not good,” said sophomore Joshua Britt. As of Monday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies arrested ten people involved in the riots at West Bladen High School. Since then, there have been two more, and they're not finished yet. Deputies now say the incident did involve community gangs. Bladen County Superintendent, Dr. Ken Dinkins said he won't stand for gang disputes at school. “They're not going to bring their problems to the school. If they do, we are going to deal with it in a very very swift and firm manner.” All was quiet Tuesday. Students had the day off for a previously scheduled faculty service day, but many say they're worried about returning to school Wednesday. One student posted a comment on our web site. "It's not safe at WBHS. I'm scared to go back. This is not the first time I've been afraid." Some parents say their children want to transfer. “My 16-year-old would like to go to another school, a private school,” said Sarah Baysden. But Dr. Dinkins said the schools and students are safe. He said the administration will learn from the experience. “It gives us a chance to reflect, and say what do we need to do to improve our discipline code, to improve the safety in our schools, and we're going to do that.” Wednesday, West Bladen will have metal detectors at the door, and more sheriff's deputies will be on hand. However, School Board Chairman Berry Lewis said the problem extends beyond school walls. “We need to have more community awareness I think, and that's what were trying to do now; get out into the communities with the parents and let all the stake holders get involved.” That way the students can focus on their education. After yesterday's incident, Bladen County schools are also adding a new rule; any student involved in a similar situation will get ten days out of school suspension. Dinkins said all Bladen County schools are partnering with community members to help deal with the problem.

54 Comments

  • MILTON V. says:

    But if you saw a fight; why would you continue to stand there at your locker; common sense would tell you to MOVE!

  • MILTON V. says:

    My mother and father did a outstanding job at raising me; just to throw that out there.

    Us SMART people would MOVE to AVOID GETTING HIT!!
    I’m sorry you didn’t teach your child to walk away from situations as these.

    [And I have move sense to get invovled with this fighting crap; something my mom and dad taught me; ACT LIKE YOU HAVE SENSE; -&& i dO!-]

    Thank you and have a nice night!

  • diamondp says:

    MY COMMENT ABOUT THIS SITUATION IS THAT ITS NOT GANG RELATED. I DONT KNW WERE YOU GOT THE INFORMATION FROM BUT YOU NEED TO TALK TO THE WRITE PEOPLE LIKE ME FOR INSTANCE JUST TALKING TO RANDOM PEOPLE ISNT GOOD I COULD TELL YOU MANY THINGS WEST BLADEN HIGH SCHOOL IS NOT A BAD SCHOOL ALL THE STAFF THERE ARE CARING AND OUTGOING AND WILL DO ANYTHING TO HELP YOU ONCE MORE THIS SITUATION WAS AND IS NOT GANG RELATED .

    THANK YOU

  • Edward Cullen says:

    I’ve been at West Bladen long enough to know this school is much better off than many Cumberland County schools and ALL of the Robeson County schools. Unfortunately things like this occur and it gives the school’s reputation a black eye. In the grand scheme, there are alot of bad schools out there, and this is not one of them.

    Trust me, I’ve been in some pretty awful school environments, and I would never think to put my children in some of those places. West Bladen High is one of those schools that I would have no trouble enrolling my child.

    The root of the problem is culture and upbringing. Many parents act just like their children. Violence breeds violence, ignorance breeds ignorance. I’m shocked and appalled by the amount of racism that exists in Bladen County coming from every racial group. It’s like when you cross the county line, you enter the 1960’s in thought and speech towards race.

    Everything here is black this…white this…Mexican that… It’s sad really. Bladen County needs to reevaluate itself and take a progressive step into the 21st century.

    …and build a Super Wal Mart and Sonic Burger.

  • Guest2204 says:

    Let’s just say for instance that she got trapped at her locker during the fight, HOW COULD SHE MOVE!!! God, you people are ridiculous!

  • WilmMan says:

    LEO, after talking to most of the people invovled and witnesses, have stated this was gang related. I will take their word on it.

    And exactly who are the “write” people? I assume you meant “right” people but I’ve learned not to assume anything with people on here

  • Bella Swan says:

    Oh Edward, you’re amazing! Build that Super Wal Mart!!! :D

  • Guest68 says:

    You two must of had something to do with the
    thugs at WBHS. Maybe you are their parents who failed miserably at raising these punks. The girl was doing like any GOOD student should of been doing. Getting her books from her locker and not trying to cut her fellow students.
    You Two are IDIOTS! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the girl was doing.

  • FSBB West Bladen Senior says:

    As said before, I’ am a senior at West Bladen High School and I am very happy to say I am a Knight.
    While reading all of these blogs I have noticed that many have a lot to say, also that most do not attend West Bladen. Please do the students a favor help if you’re going to help, but do not bring us down with your hateful comments. Our teachers are wonderful no they are not the best but they do their jobs, as well as our administrators. Many are saying what they think needs to be done
    but I am sure most would have done the same as any of the faculty did that were there. Yes we do need to come up with ways to make our school safer, but until the parents of the misfits involve as well as many other parents out there step up and be a parent what more can we do? Our faculty and staff are not there to be parents or babysitters they are here to teach. Also no this whole situation was not gang violence so will u stop saying that. This was a situation of pure Ignorance and poor parenting. So please do not judge the whole student body, faculty and administrators for the ignorance of a few misfits!!!! Now comment.

  • shannon says:

    Brittany you cant be serious. I keep reading where you are sick and tired of this and sick and tired of that. You say we have nothing better to do, well obviously you have something to do besides paying attention to your grammar. You are obviously a student, and from every paragraph I have read from students from this story, I have not seen one yet that your proper english.

  • Guest3256 says:

    I beleive that all of this is a bunch of bull..There was no reason for the non-scence, Our sheriffs should be more content, this is stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Britany Black says:

    I think that all these other people should shut their mouth’s if you don’t attened in are school and know what students go through everyday.. I personally think yall don’t understand anything and never will because all these people have these negative comments to say but aren’t taking any action what so ever. we have a great school we can’t help that others don’t all get along. Just because some students take their actions out by fighting doesn’t mean it was GANG related!!!! Im so sick and tired of people saying that our school is nothing but a gang & drug school. Believe me these students don’t need a news crew to come in our school for attntion. matter of a fact Im glad were giving you something to talking about because obviously you have nothing else better to do with your time!!!!!!

  • read it again says:

    “I resent this comment, because you can’t associate gang activity with the color of someones skin.”

    Race is not mentioned in the comment you resent, it refers to the color of the clothing many gangs wear as a symbol of membership. When large numbers of students show up wearing the same color clothing that is not the school’s mascot colors, they may be wearing gang colors. There is gang actvity at both Bladen high schools. Walk through the halls, walk in the restrooms, look in the back of text books and on lockers, the tags(markings of territory) are every where, they serve as posted signs for other gangs. It may look like grafiti or a scribble, but it has meaning for gang members.

  • MILTON V. says:

    Can you please explain to me why your child was standing there??

  • Brittany says:

    Excuse me your daughter could have moved instead of standing their like she didn’t know nothing was going on. It’s nobodys problem but her’s that she didn’t MOVE!!!!!!!!!!

  • J.L.M.R. says:

    Personally I think all this viloence and bad broadcasting towards west bladen high school is making everybody thinking that WEST BLADEN HIGH is the baddest school ever…..West Bladen is not a bad school….Now i dont believe in vilonce……but I do believe in self defense.Some of the people that got areested was not fighting.Instead of sending students home just for arguing i think they need to try and help and get to the bottom all this!We need more people trying to help the student body of west bladen instead of tearing the student body down by sending them home.

  • ??????? says:

    I will say this. WBHS is not safe. If it’s as safe as they say then why did my daughter come home cut and bruised for no reason. She was just standing at her locker when this riot broke out. Explain that to me

  • Teacher says:

    Um…was that a real question? She was standing at a locker. Usually, one stands at ones locker to retrieve things left inside it. That’s why they’re there.

  • MILTON V. says:

    Well since your saying “for instance”, I’m assuming that she prob. had a achance to escape…

  • VERY worried parent says:

    I have teenagers at West Bladen and I think it is a shame for a small high school to have so many issues with fighting. I am a parent and a child’s behavior starts at home. How do you expect kids to behave at school when they show no respect for their own parents. Kids show no respect they think it is cool for be rude and obnoxious to teachers and parents. Parents need to take control. Treat your children like children and parents be parents. You cannot be your child’s best friend and then expect them to treat you with respect. We can’t blame the parents of the kids that were arrested for what they do; but we can blame the parents for how they handle the situation. Their parents need to step up and take action. SHOW your kids who are in control……

  • Guest2011 says:

    Things could’ve been handled in a more postive way if the school officals would listen more to us instead of thinking “Oh you’re always in my office telling on someone and about something.” Okay..we feel as though they see us as being “tattle tales”,as people refer to. So we ignore the fact for just a while. People hold things in for but so long and get sick and tired of telling about a specific matter and STILL it’s NEVER TOOKEN CARE OF until matter is tooken into our own hands!!!

  • West Bladen Senior says:

    I’ am a senior at West Bladen High School and I am very happy to say I am a Knight.
    While reading all of these blogs I have noticed that many have a lot to say, also that most do not attend West Bladen. Please do the students a favor help if you’re going to help, but do not bring us down with your hateful comments. Our teachers are wonderful no they are not the best but they do their jobs, as well as our administrators. Many are saying what they think needs to be done
    but I am sure most would have done the same as any of the faculty did that were there. Yes we do need to come up with ways to make our school safer, but until the parents of the misfits involve as well as many other parents out there step up and be a parent what more can we do? Our faculty and staff are not there to be parents or babysitters they are here to teach. Also no this whole situation was not gang violence so will u stop saying that. This was a situation of pure Ignorance and poor parenting. So please do not judge the whole student body, faculty and administrators for the ignorance of a few misfits!!!! Now comment.

  • WilmMan says:

    I bet when the first fight broke out or the fight that was near her broke out she didn’t walk away….she probably huddled around like everyone does just to see a little of the fight. Was someone stopping her from getting to her class? Was she not able to move away from the fight altogether?

  • Partially right says:

    You know, some people are getting tired of everything that happens being blamed on race. I for one am. Trust me, if you’ve been to these other counties that you’ve named, then Bladen should be one of the best because Cumberland and Robeson are much worse when it comes to racism. In some cases I can agree with your comment, but in other cases “violence” doesn’t always breed violence and so on. You have some good hard working Christian folks who do their best to raise their children the right way and once they are out of their parent’s sight, they are totally different children. It’s not a cultural thing, it is a society thing. “AND THERE IS A DIFFERENCE” We need to come together as a community and see what we can do together instead of making bashing comments. Because if the community (county) comes together, we probably can make something happen. One thing about it, every race is accounted for and we are all here and not going not going nowhere.

  • anonymous 1027 says:

    You know i read these comments and i laugh at it..people say it’s gang violence but yet it had nothing to do with gangs but because some boys decided to jump another boy. Fact is that somebody just did something about it and things just got out of hand.

  • Guest5203 says:

    Wow… Learn how to use a dictionary and then post comments on the internet. Bladen County Deputies are good guys who do their job.

  • Concerned parent! says:

    Ten days suspension?????? Are they crazy? They need to expell those kids and not let them come back, and the new rule should be if you fight at all, you will be expelled, then maybe these kids will think twice before fighting at school!! Because then, they miss out on so much including a drivers license!!!

  • Guest123 says:

    The 10 days is while the case is being reviewed. More than likely these kids will end up suspended for the remainder of the year or with a 365 day suspension. That is the OLD rule. Please have faith the school system will do the right thing. If you have concerns contact your local Board of Education member. They are the ones you voted on and supported. They “control” everything that happens in this school system.

  • anne says:

    Forget suspensions – expell them! They are a menace and a danger to those around them and there should be zero tolerance for those who started it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Finally, finally Bladen County Schools admit that there is a gang problem. This riot is the result of sweeping the gangs under the rug. This did not magically appear, it has been brewing for years. The colors are there, the tags are there, the hand signs are there. Suspend for ten days? What happens on day eleven? The same students bring the same gang culture back with them. If school leaders would quit looking at statistics and expel the ring leaders and the repeat offenders, riots and fights would decrease and learning could continue.

  • Guest `1 says:

    I just pray for every child and adult involved in this situation.

  • Guest 2 says:

    I pray for everyone involved in this situation. It is so sad.

  • Guest1234 says:

    Discipline, or more specifically the lack thereof, is the biggest issue facing Bladen County Schools. Repeat troublemakers are let back into school time and time again and the gang issue has been denied until it has reached the point where the “cat is out of the bag.” Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of gangs can walk into a Bladen County high school and identify evidence of it everywhere. Bladen County Schools has a comprehensive discipline policy that would be effective if applied consistently, but its enforcement is haphazard at best. Test scores and statistics seem to be what the officials are concerned about, but without consistent, effective discipline support from administration at the school and district level, teachers are spitting in the wind.

  • Guest101 says:

    Who were the students who participated in the “riots”? Were they white or Mexican? Or were they all black? All the photos I have seen show black males. Dr. Dinkins says “the administration will learn from the experience.” Learn from the experience? Yeah, sure.
    Mr. Dinkins, the problem is in the culture of the students themselves. They learn filthy and violent language from rap lyrics, and their entertainment consists of dumb,trashy TV shows and morally repulsive videos. There is a lack of civility at the school, and the cultural climate of the homes the rioting students come from is to blame.

  • Patricia Melvin says:

    I resent this comment, because you can’t associate gang activity with the color of someones skin. To my knowledge there are all colors in gangs. This shows me that you are not knowledgeable about gangs or reasoning for bad behavior. What about those kids that watch the same shows you just degraded and listen to the same music and they show extraordinary behavior and grades. Not only that I can be riding in my car and hear a white child’s music booming louder than some blacks and it is the same rap music that you are speaking about. Now that we know that we have a major problem, lets not make it a racial thing but try to find a solution to the problem. The bottom line is, our kids need a safe place to be educated and bashing a culture is not the solution.

  • Teacher says:

    There is another high school in the county, but there have been no reported cases of gang violence there. If the blame is on the violent culture, then why is there not a more consistent result across the board?

  • M says:

    I agree with you. Dinkins does not have a clue how to handle this problem. These “thugs” need to be removed permately. That is why there is extended hope and other “alternative” schools. They do not care if they amount to anything they want to see how many they can bring down to their level.

  • WB Senior says:

    Dinkins is spoon feeding these guys with 10 days home. This is what they want!!!!! They don’t care about their education. Ten days home is the icing on the cake. What a shame; I’m glad I’m leaving this hellhole in June.

  • Charles Walters says:

    While it was a select group of students doing the fighting I disagree with your statement the general student was safe. All it would have taken is for one of these mutts to pull out a gun or a knife then no one would be safe. The mentality of people like this is to bring bigger weapons than the other people to win. Today is was fists and feet the next time it might be guns and knives, then after that who knows what. It looks like most people there have stuck their heads in the sand or other places, and now the problem is so big they can’t handle it.

  • WilmMan says:

    From what I’ve read, there was a select type of student involved in the fights. It wasn’t like you were jumped just for standing in a corner. It was gang related and those involved were either gang members or friends of a person in that gang. The general student really has nothing to worry about.

  • disgusted1999999 says:

    Every child has the right to an education….they do but it is disgusting when you have a 16 year old that wants to go to school and learn and can’t,to have something like this to get in the way. The students that are not causing any problems have earned the right to stay in the school. The students that are causing the problems they have a right to an education but give it to them elsewhere, so they will not disrupt what my child is trying to get from school. It is a sad day when you hear your child and their friends say they are scared to go to school. Or…. everytime they need to act like this phone calls are being sent home such as “please come get me I am scared I am going to die”
    If you get caught causing problems you should be sent to a school designed for problem kids that want to be adult gang bangers. Put extra security at that school and let them get educated in how to act so my child and others like him can have the chance to get the education he should be getting.
    I agree with so many comments about the number of days they are going to get because every student that deserves to be there is counting down until they return. Sometimes when you are not aware of a problem you can’t be blamed but to all the ones that decide to join good kids with problem kids and something bad happens you can’t say “I didn’t know”
    I am sure some are saying they have a right to be there if you feel so strongly invite them into your home and home school.
    Personally I had rather my child be able to remember the ballgames, dances, laughs not I spent 4 years deciding what to do when the fights broke out.
    Maybe if the ones making the decisions for the safety can’t make the best one to ensure my child is safe then maybe we need others that can.

  • Umm says:

    Yeah that’s not accurate. In fact, there are more gang members per capita at East than at West. However….I’ll let you think that

  • Teacher says:

    When was their last riot? Not argueing that there aren’t gangs there because there are gangs at every school, in every community. However, the school is not gaining regional attention because of the behavior of the student poplation.

  • Charles Walters says:

    Let’s hope it stays that way. Problem students need to be removed and if they come back to the school after they are removed then they should be jailed and denied access to the school system.

  • WEST BLADEN JUNIOR SD says:

    REALLY AND TRUELY I AM A STUDENT THAT ATTENDS WEST BLADEN HIGH SCHOOL ND I HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT WERE INVOLVED IN THE RIOT AND I CAN PERSONALLY TELL YOU THAT FOR ONE WE ARE NOT MUTTS AND FOR TWO IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A BUNCH OF WHITE PEOPLE FIGHTING THEN WE WOULDNT HAVE HAD THIS MUCH PUBLICITY SO I THINK ITS JUST CAUSE WE ARE BLACK AND MAJORITY OF THE PEOLPLE LEAVING RACIAL COMMENTS NO THAT IF THEY HAD BEEN WHITE DEN THEY WOULD HAVE HAD A SLAP ON THE RISK WITH 5 DAYS HOME AND NOT WENT TO JAIL BUT SINCE THEY WERENT WHITE THEN OF COURSE THEY GONNA GO AND TRY AND MAKE US LOOK BAD CAUSE WHITE PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT BLACK PEOPLE WERE BAD EVERY SINCE SLAVERY TIME THATS WHY THEY HAD US AS SLAVES AND CREATED THE KKK BUT THIS HAS MAYBE PROVEN THEIR POINTS MAN NOT EVEN CAUSE I SEEN ALL OF THE FIGHTS AND THERE WERE A COUPLE OF WHITE PEOPLE FIGHTING BUT NOBODY LOOKS AT THAT WELL I SAY THAT THE PEOPLE THAT WERE FIGHTING GET SUSPENDED BUT FOR UNKNOWN REASONS HALF OF THE PEOPLE THAT GOT ARREST WERE DOING NOTHING SO DO LET THEM COME BACK AT LEAST WEATHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT WE ARE UNITED WITH ALL RACES TO CREATE BLADEN COUNTY AND WE NOW HAVE A SEXY BLACK PRESIDENT OBAMA SO HOW YOU LIKE US NOW AND I DID CORRECT SPELLING AND GRAMMER CHECK ME

    DUCES HATERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shannon Hughes says:

    I didnt even read all of your comment before I decided to respond. You have put it out there like black people always do.It’s always the white mans fault, and we always persecute you because you are black. For gods sake how long is this excuse going to be used. Black people need to start taking responsibility for their own actions. This was not reported because a bunch of black kids got into a fight, this was reported because it was a riot. You really need to grow up. AND LEARN SOME GRAMMAR. You said you did grammar check, but obviously it didnt work

  • chickenman says:

    You have to be kidding me, Two of the three administrators at WBHS are Black, so tell me how this is a Black/white thing. It was a black on black thing, and it was handled by black administrators

  • WilmMan says:

    While I agree it could have been much worse (ie weapons) it wasn’t. Most of the time gang related fights are limited to those in the gangs. Yes a stray bullet could kill someone and if weapons were used I would agree with you more, but as it stands now weapons were not an issue. And from some of the comments on here, it seems as though this is not the first incident and so far weapons have yet to be used.

    I still think it’s safe for the general public to be at school

  • Anonymous says:

    Weapons were used when they shot Jahkee at McDonalds. It’s only a matter of time before it happens at school. I go to school there and they spread rumors and yell at the top of their lungs that they are going to “shoot up the school”.

  • It's called English: Learn It! says:

    First, your grammar and spelling has been checked, and it fails. You did not even spell grammar correctly.

    Second, I do not know where you come off saying that you’re offended that black people are supposedly being handled with racism because you spend most of your horribly-written paragraph accusing all white people of being racist (which is a racist view). “White people have always thought black people were bad,”…what? You’re an idiot.

    I graduated from West Bladen last year and it is a miracle that I am somewhat intelligent. Most of the people who attend West are utterly stupid, such as the person who wrote the post I’m replying to. Just look at the grammar of these posts and you’ll realize how effective of a school West Bladen is.

    Also, if you want to sound intelligent and be taken seriously, try not posting a response entirely in caps lock. It’s just a suggestion.

  • Citizen Steve says:

    No wonder the schools are jungles and warzones. They’re caught fighting, and selling drugs. Then put right back. I can’t believe they aren’t expelled.

    Why even bother to have rules, when the principles, and School Board, are giving criminal students “slaps on the wrists”.

  • 4kids says:

    Ten days is not a new rule. It has been in place for years. It is also state law that a student cannot be suspended longer than ten days without a review by the superintendent, so I am sure these children will get more than just ten days. Also, Bladen County Schools have had numerous meetings on dealing with gangs in the last several years. Many people in the community have been angry that the school system has been TOO tough on them. Wake up community and start speaking up for discipline and support the schools more instead of throwing out uninformed comments.

  • Krishtina says:

    It wasn’t long ago when I was a student at West Bladen. I remember quite a few fights went on. Now my sister is at that school. I’m scared for her. If anything happened to her, I’d be forever nauseated with hurt.

  • WilmMan says:

    The way it works is you get suspended from school for ten days with a recommendation for long term. The Principal really doesn’t have a say if these kids are allowed back at school or not….that’s on the school board. On top of that, school disciplinary actions are confidential. School administrators cannot come out and tell you exactly what they students are getting disciplinary wise

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