Father: Albuquerque Public Schools student treatment unfair after cafeteria brawl

Rio Grande High School
Rio Grande High School

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Fists flew at Rio Grande High School on Wednesday. Five girls ended up suspended, according to the school district, but one father says the evidence shows APS has made a mistake when it comes to discipline.

Generations of students have seen lunchroom brawls from time to time, but in this day and age of smart phones, cameras were rolling during the cafeteria clash.

“I’m angry, I’m angry,” said Aaron Jones, a father. “I’m beyond angry.”

“My daughter, Victoria, is a 14-year-old freshman here at Rio Grande High School here in Albuquerque,” he explained.

The conflict was caught on camera. Jones’ daughter is one of five girls suspended after this fight.

“It turns into a full blown melee,” he said.

Jones said the school suspended his daughter, wrongfully in his mind. He pointed to two video clips. In one, a camera was already fixed on his daughter before the brawl began.

“You clearly see my daughter on the video turn away from her and try to literally ignore her to the point when she turns her face, sitting on a bench in the cafeteria that the girl reaches out to her and punches her in the face,” Jones said.

“Another girl grabs her by the back of her long hair and drags her off the back of the bench and then they drag her back onto the ground. They mount her like they’re involved in a cage fight,” he said, noting her head was pounded and her face punched.

He has a beef with the school district. “You don’t victimize the victim,” he said.

“Why should my daughter and this other girl be penalized when in fact they are victims and be thrown into the same bucket with the aggressors?” he asked.

Jones is the first to admit if his kids would get in trouble at school, they’d get it twice as bad at home.

“They know better than to fight and they damn sure know better to instigate or to pick on anybody or bully anybody in any capacity,” he said.

But in this case, Jones says APS needs to exonerate his kid.

“The video doesn’t lie,” he said.

An APS spokesman said in most cases, it’s standard that all students involved in fights get punished, but added that if evidence shows a student was jumped or attacked, it wouldn’t necessarily result in punishment.

Jones said he’s not giving up on this and plans to fight APS until the three-day suspension is removed from his daughter’s record. APS said a successful appeal could expunge that from her record.

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