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Mothers seek action from Palmdale school

They protest when their children are suspended after allegedly tussling with a security guard.

September 29, 2007|Ann M. Simmons | Times Staff Writer

The mothers of students involved in a recent altercation with a security guard at Palmdale's Knight High School are demanding that the guard be fired and their children not be expelled from the school.

"I want everyone to be held accountable for the actions that wronged me and my daughter," said LaTrisha Majors. "I want to stand up and make sure this doesn't happen to other kids."

On Friday, she joined a group of students and parents in a protest outside Knight High.

Majors said the security guard fractured her daughter's wrist during a scuffle in the school cafeteria Sept.18. The tussle allegedly ensued after 16-year-old Pleajhai Mervin dropped pieces of a birthday cake and failed to clean up the mess to the satisfaction of the security guard, Majors said.

The fracas was recorded by a 14-year-old student who also ended up in a scuffle with the security guard, according to his mother, Angela Williams. Williams' 16-year-old daughter Kenngela Lockett also tussled with the guard to help her brother, the mother said.

All three students were booked on suspicion of battery and were suspended, Majors and Williams said.

Majors said she was charged with battery for allegedly assaulting a school staff member while she was at the school later that day to check on her daughter. The mother spent a night in jail before being released. She denied any wrongdoing.

Williams' son remains in custody because he had been on probation for a separate incident, the mother said.

School Principal Susan McDougal told reporters at Friday's demonstration that the matter was under investigation and the security guard had been placed on administrative leave. Officials from the Antelope Valley Union High School District did not respond to requests for further comment.

Williams said it was not the first time that her son had been in an altercation with that security guard, who she said had also used racial slurs. Williams said she complained to school district officials, but nothing was done.

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ann.simmons@latimes.com

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