Large fight prompts police response at Cooper High School
ABILENE, Texas - Story by Andrew McMillan & Veronica Soto (VIDEO STORY) A fight among several students at Cooper High School turned into a brawl that prompted a response from Abilene police Thursday afternoon, and parents want to know why they weren't alerted sooner. APD says faculty members attempted to break up the fight and were assaulted by students. The fight started at 12:38 p.m. in the patio area of the campus. Police officers stopped the fight with the help of some students and faculty, according to a news release from APD. One of the students received a cut on his head, and police said it possibly originated from a belt buckle. That student was treated at a hospital. Three of the faculty members and several other students received minor injuries, police said. Abilene ISD spokesperson Phil Ashby said the number of students involved wasn't known. He also said the district wouldn't comment on any disciplinary action those students face. A 16-year-old male was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The student's name wasn't given due to his age. Police said the ages of those involved has limited the amount of information that can be made available. Several parents expressed concerns that the district didn't alert them about the fight with a mass message. "We weren't given any notice whatsoever," said Chad Boykin. "This is appalling," Sharon Boykin said. Parents complained that rather than learning about the large fight from KTXS, they would have rather received an alert from the school district. Other parents were under the impression that there was no alert system at AISD because the district claims it is not used for this type of situation. "My concern is that we don't seem to be notified by AISD anytime there seems to be a major incident at the school," said a Cooper mother who did not want to be identified. "I think as parents, we should be somehow informed by a mass text notification or something just saying there was an incident and your child is safe."
Ashby told KTXS that there is a student messenger in place. However, it is used sparingly and in emergency situations. The district did not think it was necessary to use on Thursday.Ashby said in a statement, "[The district is] certainly saddened and disappointed by the events that occurred at Cooper High School. We are thankful for the swift response and action by campus staff and for the assistance from the Abilene Police Department. We must remember that the incident involved a small number of the 1,700-plus students that attend CHS each day, and we will remain diligent in our commitment to provide a safe learning environment for all students."