Gangs tarnish stellar Whitehaven High's reputation - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Gangs tarnish stellar Whitehaven High's reputation

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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WHITEHAVEN, Tenn. (FOX13) -

One of Memphis' best known high schools has a problem that is making some parents both angry and worried.

Parents of Whitehaven High School called FOX13 News to complain about gang activity inside the South Memphis high school. They say the administration is not taking their concerns seriously.

Memphis has spent a lot of time and money to keep troublemakers out. Whitehaven parents say some gang members have not only attacked their children outside the high school but they can't get any response from the administration.

The jewel of the Whitehaven community is its high school, known for academic scholarship, high college admission and a winning football team.

Parents say the high school's stellar reputation is being tarnish by gang members who attacked their children on Monday on the grounds of the nearby Southland Mall.

"They were just kicking him. Kicking him. Eyes swollen and face swollen, yes they did that," said Bernita Carter.

The parents took their concerns to the Principal Dr. Vincent Hunter. They say their children attend the school with the same gang members who beat them up and are now trying to intimidate them.

"She can't go to school because each day she is threatened," said Brenda McCraven, grandparent. "When someone tells you are going to be cemetery dead, that's self explanatory within itself."

"The next day, the same kids that jumped my sons and his friends where in school," said Kimberly Newsome.
TYhey came to the office where we could see them."

FOX13 News has learned that Shelby County Schools Interim Superintendent Dorsey Hopson's office is taking this incident seriously. They are investigating the attack, and other suspicions that gang members are among the student body.

The investigation could lead to extra security at Whitehaven High, and threats of expulsion for those involved.

"I want them to investigate this, they need to check it out," Carter said. "I am doing this for other children."

Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins, who represents Whitehaven, telephoned one of the concerned mothers and he promised to help.

The councilman will have to do double duty on this issue because their school board member, whose district including Whitehaven High, resigned to become chief of staff to Interim Superintendent Hopson.

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