Increase in Seminole County school fights pushing parents to withdraw students

A Seminole County school has seen an uptick in fights which is causing some parents to transfer their children to different schools.

Some parents at Markham Woods Middle School are fed up with fights at the school. Logan Walker took her daughter out of the school after her daughter was hit while standing in the lunch line.

"She was terrified. She wanted to come home and she was so quick to want to go to a different school," Walker said. "She was like I don’t want to be around it."

Walker transferred her daughter to another nearby school because she felt like she had no other choice with the fights her daughter says were happening every week.

"Every day she would come home and she just hated going to school," said Walker.

The Seminole County School District says as of November 1, in the 2019-2020 school year there were three recorded fights. In the 2020-2021 school year, there were 31 and in the 2021-2022 school year there have been 25 and there's still half of the school year still to go. Parents believe that number is much higher.

"Every time a fight goes on, she runs to the bathroom and calls me. And I tell her to stay in the bathroom until you hear silence and run to your classroom," said another parent anonymously who is in the process of trying to transfer her daughter to another school.  

In the last 30 days, the Seminole County School District says 18 students were withdrawn from the school. The district said they're aware of the incidents, are disciplining students, and are working with law enforcement partners.

"When we go to school learning should be on their mind. They should be moving forward knowledge-wise not regressing because they’re scared about what’s going on," said Walker.

The School Board met with the Seminole County Sheriff Friday to review security measures. The district says they'll be hiring an intervention specialist for behavioral support and the sheriff's office will also be adding some additional intervention services. The sheriff's office has also added school resource officers. 

The school's principal has also asked parents to volunteer to supervise before school, after school, and during lunch, because they believe the presence of more parents could help curb bad behavior. 

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