Benton Harbor community concerned over violence at Benton Harbor High School
BENTON HARBOR, Mich – Two weeks into the school year and Benton Harbor parents are concerned about the violent fights at Benton Harbor High School.
Videos of fights at Benton Harbor High School are circulating online showing students fighting and forced a part by security
“It’s sad, it’s just sad man, they’re running wild” Benton Harbor parent Craig Shivers said.
The Benton Harbor school district is under new leadership, which is part of a new partnership with the state and they’re trying to move forward academically but they say the fights are diverting attention away from classwork.
The new CEO Dr. Herrera declined to speak with ABC57 on-camera about the violent fights but says he plans on starting a violence prevention program, adding a third lunch period so there are fewer students in one area and asking Benton Harbor police to assist in their efforts.
This comes as the school board and the new CEO are in a power struggle over how to make improvements.
“I am aware of the incidents that have taken place but I was advised by the school district’s attorney not to speak about this with the media” School board President Marletta Seats said.
Benton Harbor resident Ricky Hill says parents need to be more involved.
“Education don’t start in the building of the High School or a Junior High School or grade school or elementary school it starts in the home” Hill said.
Dr. Herrera met with Benton Harbor Police on Tuesday.
Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic released a statement saying it’s possible to prosecute juveniles for fighting in school but added “As of this time I’m not aware of law enforcement submissions to this office relating to an incident that may have occurred at Benton Harbor High School on Monday September 17th”
Benton Harbor parent Eric McKinney says children should be focused on long term goals.
“Their future lies within the school, and help one another achieve the same goals we want to graduate, we want to go to college, we want to go to the military but you got to have an education” McKinney said.
ABC57 will have follow-up stories when the Benton Harbor Area Schools CEO releases an official plan to solve the violence.