Parents want answers about fighting at Tyler high schools - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Parents want answers about fighting at Tyler high schools


On Tuesday, members of the Robert E. Lee Parent Teacher Association addressed the fight in the school cafeteria that left some students injured and others facing punishment.

The PTA leadership said this recent fight is not indicative of a trend in the district, but rather that Tyler high schools have made great strides to improve in areas such as school fights and attendance.

Data Tyler ISD reports to the Texas Education Agency shows somewhat of a mixed bag however. During the 2010-2011 school year, the total number of students district-wide involved in a fight was 648. The following school year, the district saw a slight uptick: 708.

Referral actions such as suspensions and alternative education also rose in that time period, from 1,077 to 1,095.

Focusing solely on high schools, Tyler ISD reports 38 incidents at Robert E. Lee in the 2011-2012 school year, with 53 at John Tyler.

One year later, that number was down slightly to 36 at Robert E. Lee, but saw a big spike at John Tyler with 86 reported incidents.

District officials said that number jumped specifically because administrators were encouraged to report any sort of altercation, in order to ensure the district gained a better handle on violence in schools. It’s a theme that Superintendent Gary Mooring highlighted back in May as a focus point for improvement.

“We've made a lot of changes and we're looking at some things right now to help in those discipline areas,” Mooring said. “It's just like everything else we do here. We're not sitting back and thinking we can’t do anything else. This is what we've got to do.”

Another number PTA members highlighted was attendance.

Both schools were able to inch up between the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years: from 93.99% to 94.57% at Robert E. Lee and 92.82% to 94.20% at John Tyler.

Tyler ISD said they do not have data to report on either attendance or the number of fights at TISD high schools for the current school year. They add that the district will continue to focus on improving both figures.

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