Monday’s shooting at Scotlandville High School in Baton Rouge was preceded by a weekend fight among the alleged shooter and four other students over an Instagram post, said a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.
“It escalated very quickly,” said spokeswoman Adonica Duggan, adding she’s not sure what exactly the students were fighting about.
Ten minutes after the shooting, which occurred just before noon and in which no one was injured, law enforcement had the 14-year-old alleged shooter in custody.
A 14-year-old freshman at Scotlandville Magnet High School fired several gunshots during an …
The teenager, who has not been identified and had been a student at Scotlandville High for only a couple of weeks, was booked into the parish Juvenile Detention Center on five counts, including attempted second-degree murder.
“I would not have expected him to do anything like this,” said veteran educator LaMont Cole.
Cole remembers the boy from his previous school, Madison Preparatory Academy, a charter school in Baton Rouge.
In addition to serving on the Metro Council, Cole is chief academic officer for CSAL Inc., the charter school group that manages Madison Prep. Cole said the teenager started ninth grade at Madison Prep this school year and stayed there until his family voluntarily transferred him to Scotlandville High in January. Cole said he’s not aware of the boy having any problems at Madison Prep.
A small number of Baton Rouge public school students through the years have been caught with guns in their possession, but almost none have been used at school. Cole recalled a scare he had in March 2010 when he was principal at Park Forest Middle School and several students played with a handgun on the playground and one of them fired it into the dirt.
But he said what happened at Scotlandville High was much more concerning.
“This has gotten to be one of the scarier days we’ve had in Baton Rouge, definitely in term of what happens in schools,” Cole said.
On Tuesday, Scotlandville High was much quieter. Four Sheriff’s Office vehicles were parked in front of the school. The extra law enforcement presence on campus was matched by the presence of crisis counselors from the school system’s I CARE office, available to students and teachers alike who felt the need to talk about what happened.
About 240 of the school’s nearly 1,300 students were absent Tuesday, slightly more than normal, Duggan said.
The high school has as yet taken no additional security steps, such as employing hand-held metal detectors. Duggan said incidents like Monday’s provoke internal review, but so far no additional security moves “are jumping out at us” to institute.
A 12-year-old boy remained hospitalized Tuesday after he was severely beaten outside a Scotl…
The fight on social media took physical form as the five feuding students met late Monday morning in a hallway at Scotlandville High, their conflict quickly spilling into a courtyard. Duggan said it was a crowded area and school staff were close by as the confrontation boiled over. As the conflict threatened to turn into a fight, the 14-year-old pulled out a handgun, fired several shots and took off running, Duggan said.
“There were some adults that responded very quickly to the situation, which is why the student ended up fleeing campus pretty quickly,” Duggan said.
Prior to the shooting, school officials were not aware of any disciplinary issues, including bullying, during the boy’s short time at Scotlandville High, Duggan said, but authorities are still interviewing students and she will have more details when that work is complete.
Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday she did not have anything to add to the information she provided Monday in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
Some parents who showed up on campus Monday complained to The Advocate that the school should have provided more information sooner, rather than forcing them to rely on calls and texts from their children.
Duggan said Principal Tiffany Quiett issued an automated message immediately after the shooting, letting parents know the school was in lockdown, and sent them a more detailed follow-up message around 5 p.m. At 1 p.m., the principal and Superintendent Warren Drake addressed parents who flocked to the school, offering them a detailed account of what happened.
While the school was in lockdown, parents were kept outside the school buildings because they represented “an additional headache for law enforcement” trying to work an active crime scene, but Duggan said their concern makes sense.
“As a parent, your instinct is to rush to where your child is,” she said.