18 students involved in fight at Opelousas High - KLFY News 10

18 students involved in fight at Opelousas High

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Before the first period bell had a chance to ring, the morning was already off to a rough start at Opelousas High School. A fight broke out in the hallway and quickly escalated involving 18 students.

For one freshman, Keira Carter, it all happened so fast, she thought it was a joke.

"I was going to my homeroom class and the dudes were just fighting and then it started coming down the hall," said Carter.

Opelousas Police believe many of the students are involved in possible gang activity and the riot Monday morning was sparked when conflict came to a head.

"We've been focusing our attention on it the last few weeks," said McClendon. "Obviously, these engagements they've been having in the community have been spilling over into Opelousas High School."

There was no surveillance video captured around where the fight broke out. But, thanks to social media, officials are able to put together some of the pieces.

Before authorities even arrived on campus, photos surfaced on Instagram—a photo sharing app owned by Facebook. That also helped police identify the students affiliation in three gangs they've been keeping tabs on. However, that's a term Superintendent Edward Brown says he's using loosely.

"I don't think they know what a true gang is, but they're trying to mimic some of the activities and we're not going to tolerate that behavior at all," said Brown.

News spread fast around town and the parking lot was busy with parents checking out their kids. Although it was a scare, LaShonda Lazard, the parent of a 9th grade student, thinks it's an isolated event.

"It doesn't (scare me). It's all in how you raise your kids. Raise them right, they'll do right," said Lazard. Adding resource officers to the school year round is next on the agenda, so nothing like this will happen again.

"Police presence or day officer's presence has been proven to be a great tool to deter this type of behavior," said Brown.

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