Apparently, a water balloon fight at Enloe High School in Wake County, North Carolina drew the attention of Al Jazeera. The outlet has decided it is worthy of putting into an apparent multi-part series based on this title: Why are N.C. minority students more likely to be arrested? (part one)
Enloe High School is known for its racial and socioeconomic diversity. As a magnet program, it attracts kids from all over Wake County, N.C. But the school also has enough of a crime problem that a Raleigh police officer is permanently assigned to campus.
Last May 16, a massive water balloon fight broke out at Enloe. After a 911 call about the senior-day prank, the Raleigh Police Department dispatched 24 officers to restore order. The heightened security stemmed, in part, from the rumors that the balloons would be filled with urine and bleach. (Police and school officials would later say that there was no evidence of the balloons being filled with any substance other than water.)
In the end, eight Enloe students, all 16 to 17 years old, along with a parent, were arrested following events related to the water balloon fight.
The News and Observer followed up but their article is behind their annoying pay wall. What is says basically is that a few civil rights groups have now filed a complaint on behalf of the students involved and they are asking the DOJ to investigate. Groups of note that are involved in filing complaints are the ACLU, BlueprintNC’s parent group – the NC Justice Center, The NC NAACP and the UNC Center for Civil Rights. Basically, Moral Monday.
The article also makes mention that the police were following up on information that the balloons might have had something in them besides water. The Raleigh Telegram elaborates on that statement:
However, according to the Raleigh Police Department and online posts, people at the school were truly scared when the water balloons started being tossed because they had heard they might be filled with fluids a lot more dangerous than water.
“There was prior information that some students planned to throw water balloons filled with urine and bleach,” said Jim Sughrue of the Raleigh Police Department.
And accounts from students:
One of the posters said she was there at the water balloon fight and seemed to condemn the police actions, while at the same time confirming the use of dangerous substances in the balloons.
“You people just go by what you hear,” said one commenter on the WRAL.com website. “85% of the water balloons were filled with water, while the rest Nair and MAYBE urine.”
“I would just like to add that I am a student at Enloe, and I witnessed this firsthand,” said Niko on WRAL.com. ”They were not simply throwing water balloons. Many balloons were filled with bleach, Nair (used for hair removal and can blind), urine, and semen. I myself was hit by one filled with urine.”
That person added that they felt the police response was necessary to get control of the situation.
“I felt terrified to walk through the hallways on my way to class, and I know many of my fellow students felt the same,” added Niko. “Please consider this before claiming that the police did not need to be involved.”
Clearly, some students felt scared enough that law enforcement became involved. Here are some tweets from that day claiming some of the balloons had special surprises inside:
Green ballons has syrup, Blue has water, Yellow has soap, and Gold balloons ? Oh They a mystery! ENLOE TURN TF UP!
— Jada Sharonika Lael (@iEat_TheCookies) May 15, 2013
Skeet, bleach, water, pee, nair hair removal balloons, snake bites, torn noses that’s #ENLOE !!
— BboinqBboinq (@laCHINITA__) May 16, 2013
— bettylenah. ✨ (@_fierceAMBITION) December 31, 2013
WRAL, back in May, also covered the parents questioning the use of force. I found a video report on the incident from FOX 50:
Video from the 2012 Water Balloon day shows what the 2013 fight might have looked like. At the end of the video something smashes and everyone runs yelling obscenities:
NSFW language warning
Clearly, chaos. Also, paint balloons?
And teachers hit in the head:
So what really happened?
Did it get out of hand? Did the eight arrested resist? The only one talking a lot is Jahbriel Morris or rather, “Morris Movement” on Twitter; although the account went dark in September of last year. What I find amazing is there is no footage or images of these arrests or the 2013 fight out there. These kids have tweeted and YouTubed past events, but not this one? Social media seems wiped clean.
Whatever really happened, this all seems to be tying into the DOJ and its ridiculous proposal of racial discipline quotas, of which Al Jazeera picked up on:
The issues in Wake County have also resonated nationally. Earlier this month, the federal Education and Justice departments issued new guidance on school discipline, designed to disrupt what’s increasingly called the “school-to-prison pipeline” that critics say lands far too many black and Hispanic students in the courthouse — or jail.
The new guidance, which is voluntary, urges school officials to remember that they, not police officers, are responsible for routine student discipline. It also urges schools to improve faculty training to resolve conflicts without calling the cops.
But in Wake County, the guidance comes a little too late.
So, discipline based on who is actually committing the offense is racist… or something.
It occurred to me that maybe this better fits Dr. Atkinson’s “Schools of Terror”?
Thank you to Carolina Plott Hound for linking!