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Administration denies gang activity at West Bladen High School

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Parents of students at West Bladen High School met tonight to discuss student safety in their school in relation to an incident that happened on campus last month. In November, there was at least one fight on campus that some people suspected was gang related. Thursday night, the school board said that was not the case, but some parents still disagree.

It’s here and we got to deal with it,” said concerned grandmother Glenda Lennon. “We got to find a way to deal with it.”

Lennon says her three grandsons were involved in the November incident at the school. She says when she spoke to the school’s principal, Toni Warrick, she said the incident was related to gang activity.

“She says she thought it was gang related because of the other boys that were involved,” said Lennon.

When asked about gang activity at the school on Thursday, Warrick said the kids involved in the groups call themselves “gangs” but she does not think they are like what people typically think of.

Greg Sykes says his daughter is a junior at West Bladen. He says she has never said anything about feeling unsafe at school.

“She comes here every morning and she has never told us once that she feels unsafe,” said Sykes.

Bladen County Superintendent Robert Taylor says the incident that has some parents concerned about gangs was blown out of proportion.

“We did have an altercation at the school, like schools have every day and we dealt with that by putting in a disciplinary action,” said Taylor. “Now, we’re not going to say that it was an incident that involved gangs fighting at the school. That was not the case. But there was an incident and we put in a disciplinary action and I really can’t say more than that because it does involved students.”

Overall, most parents at the meeting seemed confident that the administration at the school had the situation under control. Parents agree though that more parents need to be involved with their children. They believe that may help solve some of the problems.

We attempted to speak with Toni Warrick about the situation but she declined to comment.

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