Friday, December 16, 2011

What's up at Arabia?

We're trying to piece together an incident originally reported below:

Updated with photos taken by students:

Anonymous said...


Anybody heard about the riots/events at Arabia Mountain High School today? 2 food fights, 8 fights, 1 bathroom fire, 1 flooded bathroom, a dozen county police cars, EMT's, swat teams, etc. Kids were tasered, handcuffed and arrested.

I just got a calling post call from the principal and she somewhat minimized the incidents. I am concerned for my son's safety tomorrow.

Reported by a parent of an Arabia student:

Today it all started at C Lunch with a food fight. Then it elevated to the next lunch with a food fight. From there a trash can was set on fire, and then a bathroom was flooded. Then numerous fights between students. Then at the end of the day, a near riot occured outside where students were met with a large number of DCPD officers as seen in this picture:


This lead to a student being tazored.

As far as the finals, we missed a final today due to a lockdown. So tomorrow we will resume with final exams, in four classes.


In addition, below is a sampling of tweets that can be found when you search for "TurnUpThursday" as one of our bloggers did:

_KnOw_DhaT : My name is Sienna and I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain

_fuckfakehoes : my name is amari, and I survived #turnupthursday at arabia mountain high school.

le_seul : lmao“@_nocapsnospaces: My name is Tia and I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain High. :)”

CoolSince95 : RT @_msmaryMACK: My name is Tyana & I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain High. :)

_VistosoElla : My name is Chasity, and i Survived #TurnUpThursday At Arabia >.<

MyKissesArePink : My name is Brianna & I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain High. :)

MissLola_Dior : RT @_msmaryMACK: My name is Tyana & I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain High. :)

_msmaryMACK : My name is Tyana & I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain High. :)

_VainOverdose : My name is Kaelah Smith & I survived #TurnUpThursday at Arabia Mountain High. :)

prettyass_taee : RT @FreeBandz_DreB: #TurnUpThursday

FreeBandz_DreB : #TurnUpThursday


In other DCSS News:

A mother in DeKalb County wants answers after her 11-year-old told her another parent came into his classroom and headbutted him.

What is going on?

UPDATE: We just learned that a Lithonia Middle School student was beaten up today. Click here for the story.


Anonymous said...

The following is a sampling of what is on Twitter tweeted by Arabia's finest students:

christy_cook Christiana Keyara ♥
Ain't no school on Arabia level. 12 fights , 2 food fights , 16 police cars , 5 riots , trash can on fire , an 1 pipe bursting.
15 Dec

OOh_thatsyoman BOSS :)
15 Dec

Food Fight

vaaannnti javanti yvonne. ♥
and who fucking cares that were not like any other school? we know. getting into fights everyday & food fights won't get you into college.
15 Dec

vaaannnti javanti yvonne. ♥
15 Dec

vaaannnti javanti yvonne. ♥
bathrooms on fire.
15 Dec

vaaannnti javanti yvonne. ♥
and now somebody fighting.
15 Dec

_iloveadriana Adriana Smith
nobody can call Arabia lame no more.
15 Dec
Retweeted by @vaaannnti

ericaxoxo_ Ebaby ;)
Omg , We on lockdown , the bathrooms flooded , we had a food fight , somebody pulled the alarm . Arabia outta control !!!!
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply
Retweeted by @christy_cook

Flooded Restroom

christy_cook Christiana Keyara ♥
15 Dec

Evan_Allsmiles Evaaaaan 
������ good job Arabia! Proud of y'all .
15 Dec

Imjustthatdude Noah Jackson
~ Bruh that was the biggest food fight ever !!!!!
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply
Retweeted by @christy_cook »

BossedBitch_ ..KnoDat (=_=)...
Lmaoooo food fight in c lunch
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply
Retweeted by @christy_cook »

christy_cook Christiana Keyara ♥
It's bittersweet tho because I would have been so mad if something go in my hair.
15 Dec

ItalieLovesYou italie milove 
Dr.McMillan STFU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply »

Jessy_Wessie Jessyca Willis
Best Day Ever at Arabia !!
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply
Retweeted by @ItalieLovesYou »

ItalieLovesYou italie milove 
Tweet tweet tweet tweet !!!! These administrators aint gone do nothing !
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply »

OVOParisMorton Paris Morton
Shit got real at arabia today.
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply
Retweeted by @ItalieLovesYou »

ItalieLovesYou italie milove 
Awwwwwww other people at other schools mad cause they ain't get accepted into Arabia ? Haha how cute !
15 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply »

IamKardo Sports+Women=Life
My nigga italie turnin up!

_ScreamDADDY Stalker O_o
next semester them administrators gone be tripping like fuck !
15 Dec

_THEfinesseEra Cedra Finesse ((: ♥
Like , what da fuck. if you mad Arabia trending & we turnt the fuck up. THEN TAKE YO ASS TO SLEEP ! All that extra is bullshit.
15 Dec

ItalieLovesYou italie milove 
If you never gave a fuck , SHUT UP ! cause we don't give two fucks . You can swallow some balls and pubic hair for all we care .
15 Dec

Anonymous said...

stay classy dekalb! (not to mention educaded - "gone" ugh.)

Anonymous said...

This is also on Twitter tweeted by another of Arabia's finest. This is what we pay such high school taxes for? Parents that have children that act and behave like animals? Does the thug culture in the Black community start at home?

HoesCallMeKeem I L O V E (. Y .)
Once you turn up the whole arabia you can't turn us down. We don't care how lame we are. #TeamFuckSpiritDay
15 Dec

HoesCallMeKeem I L O V E (. Y .)
All the adm. Signin into their twitter now lol
15 Dec

HoesCallMeKeem I L O V E (. Y .)
As much as yall adm. Put us through yall deserve this.
15 Dec

HoesCallMeKeem I L O V E (. Y .)
The principal had to take a deep breath n shit! Lmao #TeamICantDoTheAnnouncement
15 Dec

HoesCallMeKeem I L O V E (. Y .)
Arabia is ON POINT today!!!
15 Dec

HoesCallMeKeem I L O V E (. Y .)
Ayyye administrator jus said under no circumstances can't NOBODY leave the room #TeamNoFinal
15 Dec

HoesCallMeKeem I L O V E (. Y .)
Bruh arabia is the shit today. I fuck wit yall today.
15 Dec

Anonymous said...

Motion to BOE:

I make a motion that a special administrative fine be levied against all student/parents currently enrolled at AMHS to cover costs of all damages, police services, fire services.

I'll be d_mned if taxpayers should be on the hook for any of this!

Worse yet, is the truth, like it or not, a minority of DeKalb County is carrying the majority tax wise!

Anonymous said...

Point of clarification...the minorioty I am reffering to is the 1%, the same 1% all of the Occupy zealots are complaining about!

Race has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of upper income minorities that are getting screwed by this deal as well.

Anonymous said...

More twitter comments of interest..there are so many out there...these kids should be prosecuted! They are so anti "good education" because they are seen as lame that they have to establish credibility by causing riots and destroying property. Only then, can these kids feel comfort in the familiar. This is very sad. Dr Atkinson, you have work cut out for you. People who think like this are not very evolved and must be closely tied to the Neanderthal..They should go and get the DNA test. Maybe once they find out they are high percentage of Neanderthal, they can sent to live in work camp where they can pound on things and cause they chaos they thrive on. I say this because this behavior doe not not show evolved thinking. Let's see, hurt each other and inflict thousands in property damage to a school that is trying to get you ready for a career. Yeah, darn those teachers for assigning you work! Who in their right mind destroys the place that is helping them to create their future? I will tell you who...animals...although even animals don't sh_t where they eat! Flooding your bathrooms...real smart...keep the genius ideas coming. You are all so proud of yourselves. What is wrong with you????

_KnOw_DhaT See - an - nah

Damm we soo fukin brand new..we gona b tlkin bout dis over xmas brake cuz shit nvr happens at our skool.....about time
15 Dec

_KnOw_DhaT See - an - nah

Hell yea all dat built up angr RT"@ScreamsChester: Today Was Arabia's Stress Relief Day ."

MissLola_Dior Lauren ♫ ♪ ♫
by _KnOw_DhaT
sooooooo from now on you cant say nothing about arabia being LAME....ALRIGHTTT?????
15 Dec

ScreamsChester Jannah : )

If You Said Something Negative About Arabia Today And You Don't Go There , You Gay . And You Eat Ass .

RT @Earl__: RT @ItsReallyHim0_0: We really got some geniuses at Arabia hacking the computer system, taking over the fire alarms, and turning on the bathroom sprinklers

Anonymous said...

Just a bunch of the South DK yoot (Cousin Vinnie) letting off a little steam.

How come so many names end with an
"a" ?

Anonymous said...

I sit here shaking my head in disgust!

As a white woman who has taught on the South side, I am not surprised. As I asked in the meeting when I was informed that I was no longer able to give a zero to child, even if they turned in no work, and that them turning in no work, had to be my fault in some way, and that I had to give them multiple chances of getting the work completed, why? How is this helping the children? How is this providing the children with an education?

As far as I am concerned, this school needs to be closed down. The animals who did this destruction, need to be prosecuted and need to pay for the damage that they did. I don't care if takes them the next fifty years to pay it off, they need to be held responsible for this damage. As a high school student you are old enough to know better.

Tax payers should not be footing this bill. If parents want this nice school, than those sending their children to it, need to pay for it to be cleaned and fixed up.

I am sick and tired of having higher and higher taxes and not being able to send my child to the schools in my neighborhood, because of the thug mentality like this. This isn't just at Arabia, but it's all over the county. I see it when the school buses stop in front of my house, because the kids from Shamrock can't behave themselves and the buses are taking them back to the school.

I left DCSS, because of the lack of caring about quality education. I knew that I could not send my son to the school in which I worked or the school in which I lived and could not be a hypocrite. I have never regretted that decision.

Tax payers throughout the county need to be up in arms about this lack of care for the money that they spent on this brand new building. Do we need to have more new buildings built and for them to be treated this way?

I hope that kids are kicked out of school, NOT suspended, but kicked out of the system. I also hope that those responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and are made to not only pay for all of the damage, but also have to do time for the crime that they committed.

I have a feeling that as the tweets stated, nothing will happen to these kids, and once again tax payers will be on the hook for spending more of their hard earned money on slobs that don't give a damn.

Anonymous said...

I love the names of the girls on the tweets: Sienna, Amari, Tia, Tyana, Chasity, Brianna, Tyana (another), Kaelah, Antasia

Anonymous said...

Kids should be prosecuted? OH CALM DOWN. ITS NOT THAT SERIOUS! ...
if you're that upset .. take your kids out the school system. SIMPLE! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the way things are ran... LEAVE.Hopefully many will not return in 2012.

Things like this are bound to happen when you mix more random unappreciated school choice students than applied appreciative magnet and career technology students.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:11 Maybe you don't pay taxes for the system. I do, and no my child won't be attending a DCSS school. I quite frankly begrudge having to pay taxes for an education system that I can't use, because I simply want my child to receive a quality education.

Our district has taught the children, that they are not responsible for their actions. When I was threatened by a student that she was going to punch my stomach until she killed by baby (I was pregnant), nothing was done to this child and the threat was dismissed. I was told that this girl likes to be a leader and that I need to give her more chances to be in charge. Really??

What these kids did by flooding the school, setting garbage cans on fire, and having food fights is simply uncalled for and yes THEY NEED TO PAY for the damage, get kicked out of the public school system, and be prosecuted for destroying property. The mentality that these kids have is what is wrong with our society today. Too many have no idea that their actions have consequences, until it's way too late. They have no respect for themselves let alone others. The school is not their school, they are simply using it as it was paid for by tax payers.

This isn't kids being kids. This is out of control. Too many of schools have the kids running the schools, as the administration has given the children more and more power over the years.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:11: I hope you are being sarcastic with your comments. However, suspecting that you are not, the behavior of the students at Arabia Mountain, their tweets, and your comments make a very good case for any parent of school age children to seriously consider a private education for their K1 through K12 students. Our current political and economic climate leaves no room for error and an association with a school with a history of producing behaved, educated students is a leg up on the thug culture clearly being produced in the DeKalb County School System.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous 9:52 PM and 10:24 PM.

I hope that kids are kicked out of school, NOT suspended, but kicked out of the system. I also hope that those responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and are made to not only pay for all of the damage, but also have to do time for the crime that they committed.

What happened at Arabia Mountain High School was serious. Those who took part must accept the consequences of their actions.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this post should have been created. I also think that anyone who destroys property should be at the very least brought up on the charges. I think that anyone's sense of entitlement, no matter the corner of the county from which they come, should be challenged. I hurt for the kids who have parents who raised them without the sense of urgency to battle the entitlement world in which we all live.

I am a South DeKalb black parent with one more high school student left to raise, who hopes several things here: that (1) we don't paint with the wide brush [sadly that's already underway with the comments on the students' names]; (2) we don't look at this as an "Arabia" issue; (3) we remember that kid-stupid is equal opportunity [again, epic fail since I was the one who posted about the Lakeside grad who was caught selling drugs out of her UGA dorm room a few weeks back, and a blog administrator deliberately chose the least-viewed thread on which to post my comment].

Ah well. One can always hope.

Anonymous said...

Yes and the consequences of their actions must include repayment for damages, significant fines, and jail time. Enough, already from those thugs!

Anonymous said...

I spent a little time looking at the Arabia related tweets on Twitter and would see individuals posting in such regularity that I wondered how such tweeting students could actually perform in school or study. This level of social media activity in high school and the language being used in their communications would be disturbing to many parents concerned with the educational progress of their children. Clearly, this is not an issue in the southern part of DeKalb County. Looking further, based on semester exam related comments, it became clear from the various communications that these students were not stellar performers in school. If you go to you will see just where many of these students will end up over the next ten years. Other places to look for these folks is the many federal and state supported social service agencies.

Government schools at their best . . . Concerned parents . . . NOT!

student said...

I'm a student at Arabia and I can see why a common tax payer would be disappointed and mad at my school.whoever said our parents need to pay for the damages.... They should but thats not going to happen. I'm personally ashamed of my school. A food fight that normal I sure you had one before. The fact that someone would set of the fire alarm and cause a riot that's not cool. we are not animals and this had nothing to do with race. Also I often hear adults complain about our "generation" however I think people fail to realize who raised it. I have been going to Arabia for 3 years now and nothing even close to his has ever happen before. I fell that the fact that are school is almost over crowed played a factor in this incident.

Ps ... I love and appreciate my school. The teacher are great and they really care about us for the most part. Administration is way too strict (example:I can't where a pink bow in my head ). i write ghetto all the time on my twitter my grade point average is a 3.78 My name is Scarlet and I survived Arabia Mountain Turned up Thursday

Anonymous said...

Almost every comment on here states that this happens across the county but students at Arabia are Neanderthals and disgusting just because they are held to a higher standard than others ? The students were probably just aggravated and couldn't tolerate the constant disrespect and work & expectations placed on them and acted out . It got out of hand, but these kids obviously had a reason behind this, things like this are not done for no reason . If you all were children and there was a food fight going on would you not participate ? It was kids being kids . Juuuuuust saying .

Passionate... said...

DCSS and BOE are you ready to let a Joe Clark [Morgan Freeman in Lean on Me] or Rick Latimer [James Belushi in The Principal] run DCSS high schools. Are you ready to support the principal over the parents' complaints? On Thursday, this school was out of control. But it is not too late!
True Story: A young man, 17 years of age, was singing a vulgar rap song, with jeans way below his waist and his boxer shorts showing, at Five Points MARTA station one evening. After the young man finished singing, he asked me what I thought of his song to which I replied, "I think you have an amazing voice, I just wish the song didn't contain words that were offensive to me." Anything else? "Yes, I wish you would pull up your pants." After he pulled up his pants, he asked me what song I would like to hear him sing. I said "Amazing Grace." When he finished singing, he received an ovation from all of us who were waiting on the MARTA trains to arrive. He received several compliments! He thanked me! He said I reminded him of his grandmother.
Our expectations should remain high for all of our DCSS students. We should never give up! After all, they are our future!

Anonymous said...

@anon 10:56 No, I would never have participated in a food fight. My parents raised me to respect my school and myself.This is not a case of kids being kids. It is this attitude that excuses bad behavior and provides kids with an escape clause. No self-respecting person would cheer this, or excuse it.

On another note, does anyone know when the county or the media will let us know what really happened at Arabia Mountain on Thursday?

Anonymous said...

@ 10:56 if the work load is too difficult, than maybe the children should go back to their local high school. From what I've seen, expectations of our students aren't high enough.

Students feel that they are disrespected-How? In what way? They are children. Respect is earned and not given. It's obvious by the actions of those involved that they do not receive respect.

There was one food fight in my high school during the 4 years I attended, and the kids were the ones who cleaned it up. This taught us all a lesson. We had to help clean the school also for awhile, and this also gave us a new perspective on our actions.

This type of behavior shouldn't be tolerated anywhere, and those that participated have some serious lessons that need to be learned. School is a privilege and not a right, as is owning a home, having a good paying job, and having the ability to be able to afford nice things.

Just because you're born, doesn't mean that you deserve anything. Everything that you want should be worked for. Too many in our society have forgotten this, and instead want everyone to take care of them. Frankly, I'm tired of working hard to take care of people that think and behave this way.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Just saw a Fox 5 news piece about a girl who was beat up at Lithonia Middle School. Cere, I hope myfoxatlanta gets it online soon.

Apparently criminal charges have been filed against the attackers. Parents wanted to go public. Apparently the girl who was attacked said something about another person and it was misconstrued, so a couple of other friends beat this girl multiple times and then kicked her, she looks pretty banged up and will have to have surgery after the swelling goes down on her face.

With all this happening it makes you wonder if this is happening to make Dr. Atkinson and her new leadership circle look bad or something. Seems like a lot of unrest for one school system, the last week of the semester.

By the way the kids who did any damage at Arabia should have to pay for any damage done and be suspended. Thug type behavior should not be tolerated. If the tweets are true this, was not just a food fight, you have a very dangerous situation if a student was tasered. Fire in garbage cans and flooded bathrooms is destruction of property. Scary stuff!

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Here is the link to the Lithonia Middle School Student Beat Down.

She is pretty banged up!

Anonymous said...

@ 11:26

I believe that the behavior being exhibited is because our children do not feel that their actions have any consequences plain and simple. These kids have grown up receiving trophies for showing up, not for being good or working hard. These kids are constantly told that they did a good job, even when their efforts are less than stellar. These kids have grown up feeling that they are entitled.

These kids also know that little happens to those that don't follow the rules, and in many ways it's coming back to bite DCSS in the behind.

The tweets speak for themselves. This day seems to be planned. If these kids don't pay for destroying the school, than as a society we are doomed, because their actions were once again given the green light.

Cerebration said...

@ Anon 10:36: FWIW, I do not choose where to post comments. You post your own comments. Whichever posting you click on and then click "leave a comment" is the one where the comment gets posted.

If you thought I should have made it it's own thread, then I disagree. That was just one former Lakeside student. That would certainly be painting with a very large brush.

Cerebration said...

With all this happening it makes you wonder if this is happening to make Dr. Atkinson and her new leadership circle look bad or something.

I wondered the same thing. The last thing Atkinson should do is fire the Arabia principal. That's what the kids want and they should not get it. In fact, Atkinson instead should send in more SROs.

Anonymous said...

Student Said 10:51:

You might want to proof read before you post . . .

In the real world there are penalties for poor writing skills.

student said...

11:47 I'm sorry thanks i will take that advice next time.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Principal McMillan, although a nice person, does not have the management and leadership skills for a school like this. I do not think she has had to deal with students/parents with this mentality, plus, her past experience has proven her to be a “softy”. Yes, the wrong signal would be sent if she were released or transferred, but she does need some strength around her for the remainder of the year.

Monica Black . . . Reports are that she was struck by a student. Is this true?

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, Cere, you are wrong. I was very deliberate about which topic I posted my comment on about the Lakeside grad who was caught selling drugs out of her dorm room, and I found only a few minutes later that it was under another thread. Complete with a precedent comment which didn't belong to me. Sadly, I wasn't shocked.

I've said to you before that I think what you're doing here is a great thing and is a service to the entire county. That hasn't changed, but painting with a broad brush is a dangerous two-edged sword. I see it here on this topic with the posts of those who would make fun of the Arabia students' names. I don't wish to major in the minor -- the bigger point is that wrongdoers are wrongdoers and should be labeled so no matter their race, creed, blah blah. But I remember the nuances of that post, and I keep it in mind each time I see topics like this. Remember, many of the posters are not as fair-minded as you are, and view the world through narrow prisms. Were these thugs that 'performed' at Arabia yesterday? YES. Should they be punished? YES. Will this incident now be raised as the bell-weather marker for every Arabia discussion on this blog henceforth by posters intent on monolithic tendencies? YES. Even by teachers or former teachers. Predisposition to think that we're all animals anyway is a powerful thing. I've lived it and continue to live it. Sadly, those thugs who took a day and tore down their school's reputation may never know what I'm talking about. Every day, people like me fight both the notion of what the thugs do and what you think WE do every day. And all the while, I remember to avoid doing what one of your blog administrators did -- subjugate a post I made about a white girl, caught and arrested with her Lakeside shirt on, accused of selling drugs out of her UGA dorm room. And I also remember to avoid thinking that those thugs with the twitter posts and destructive entitlement mentality at Arabia are not my own people. They ARE my people, mostly because the majority of posters on this topic will make me keep that in mind when you're finished lumping our behaviors all together.

Arabia students out there reading this? Look up the word MONOLITHIC.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb school system has OBVIOUSLY been proven to be one big ball of corrupt bullshit, with count wide band suspensions because of hazing, that lithnia thing mention ealier, and not to mention the arabia annex riot last year, and the parent pulling out a gun a few months ago at arabia. i can see arabia's "differentier" picture going on for another year, but that time will come when the mass of us realize its just another rachet dekalb school, just with uniforms and fucking recycling bins.

Anonymous said...

The one student that spoke out respectfully was disrespected. The comment in response to her was uncalled for. I'm very proud of you student 10:51.

Anonymous said...

@10:56 I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY doubt that no media information will come out about what happened, just because of the fact that this happened within the walls of ARABIA MOUNTAIN. Come on now, do you think DCSS would really want the public to know thats this happened in their newest, most prized, and ecogical profound school? i think not. Once again (Corrupt). Just be lucky that YOU found this blog, because between this and twitter, they are shutting all other media about this dowwwwwwnnn

Anonymous said...

@ 12:15, If you're talking about the response about proof reading one's writing, that response was dead on. Not writing in proper English is a horrible habit for any student and needs to be learned if one wants to get and keep a respecting job, get accepted to and stay in a quality college/university, and obtain a quality job. The person telling the student proof read his writing, was in fact doing the student a service, and those that have allowed and accepted non-standardized writing from this child and other students has done damage to this child and many other children in this system.

Cerebration said...

People deserve to know that our schools are not as safe as they think. Maureen Downey had a post on this subject recently.

As far as the Lithonia MS student, it made news due to the parents coming forward. The school system had this response,

"Anyone found taking advantage of an innocent student will be punished. We have strict rules against bullying, fighting and harrassment in school," said Walter Woods of DeKalb County Schools.

Hurst said the principal of the school told him that two people will face criminal charges.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Cere, I saw this mentioned on another thread.

If Arabia Mountain had a lockdown, fire in garbage cans, flooding, food fights and a student was tasered on Thursday. Should or Did a report/email go out to principals describing the melee at AMHS and watch for copycats? Even warn other principals about twitter being used to coordinate students. With all these twitter responses I would think an investigation by a journalist would be in order, right? Could this whole AMHS thing be a ruse to distract from another story at SWD?

I'm surprised none of the alphabet network locals have pursued this story, unless it was just a food fight and the twitter/facebook is just a joke to get people riled up. None of this surprises me, but it also doesn't make sense.

My 7th grader has never seen stuff like this at his school, here in DeKalb. He asked if what was mentioned in the tweets actually happened? I told him people we're trying to confirm what actually happened at AMHS Thursday.

Anonymous said...

All I am gonna say is WTF are those parents puttin in their kids food? Crack?

We should be calling this entire area "South Central" not South Dekalb. Thugs all of them.

I bet their mothers are so proud, wait a minute they are probably standing behind their kids saying, "My baby ain't done nuttin wrong".

Keep writin "Ghetto" and that's exactly where you'll end up. Poor pitiful children told to work hard and make some of themselves and set an example for others. Counselor tells them to have high expectation of themselves, this is obviously a reason to stage a minor coup.

Anonymous said...


Anon said...

It would not send the wrong message to replace almost all the high school principals at the end of the year.

Atkinson needs to engineer a total high school turn around in DeKalb County. Most of the principals, many of whom are fine human beings, can't even begin to do the things necessary to make this happen.

If she is wise, she will conduct a national search for proven school administrators who have turned around high-poverty, high minority population schools and recruit them.

As to the Arabia Mt. situation, food fights happen. And there are bad apples at every school, regardless of admission requirements. However, DCSS needs to find whoever lit the fire and expel them as well as the bathroom flooders, etc. Send a message.

Anonymous said...

@ Atlanta Media Guy:

I posted the comment regarding the total absence of communication to other schools regarding the Arabia Mtn incident and the lack of safeguards afforded other schools in case of copycat incidents. That stuff went all over the county among Dekalb students on Twitter and FB, yet teachers, administrators, and security staff, yes security staff, new nothing about it as late as Friday at noon.

What worries me even more, is that Dekalb will entrench and put the squelch on more open communication between it and the public.

From a promise of openness and transparency to the reality of desperate obfuscation and opaqueness. All because a small-time superintendent was hired to preside over the total mess that is now DCSS. And she has no idea how to resolve all of these new issues.

Fear leads to secrecy and deception.

Believe me, after this week, the public view into DCSS has been shuttered.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:20

A public school is charged with educating all students. The best principal in the world still needs help. Joe Clark had security in his school. I am not advocating a "Joe Clark" , but your comments are spoken like someone who does not work in a school. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot advocate for change without realizing that we live in an age, where we do need police in the schools. Take some time and do some research. You wil see that violence in school is a "National Problem." Think about the incident that occured recently in a local high school. There was a teacher in the class. Was that teacher suppose to step in and stop the four people from attacking the young man?" IF the principal had been in the room, was he suppose to do it? Would you have jumped in and attempted to stop the fight?
Yes, preventive messages can take place to try and stop violence before it occurs. But staff in our prevention department has been cut greatly.
Once it does occur you need trained professionals to stop it.
Why do police patrol a neighborhood or a mall? Sometimes the sight of police can prevent an incident from occuring.
DeKalb has the same problems of any large school system. Crimes can also occur at small schools.
In August the principal of a small school in memphis was shot and killed by a student.
Anon 8:20. How was that principal suppose to stop the violence in that case?
We have gone too far in attempting to protect the rights of all students. In so many cases the students that create these serious problems have been in trouble over and over again. You get in trouble for suspending too many students. You get in trouble for sending too many students to a tribunal. Students get arrested. They get out and come right back to school. Parents complain and adminstrators are the ones that are punished.
There are good students in every school and there are students that want to learn. All you invovled individuals please lobby for stronger discipline rules in all schools.
Every school needs metal detectors. All high schools and middle schools need a police officer.

Anonymous said...

Another Arabia student : I have never felt so bad about myself in my life. You basically just us we have no hope and no furture and that we will end up in jail. Thanks for the encouragement. THE WHOLE SCHOOL WAS NOT DOING WRONG . I'm proud of student 10:51 even though she did have a few grammar mistakes. Thats why she is still in school. /:

Anonymous said...

As much as I am disturbed by the stupid behavior of a bunch of teenagers at AMHS I am equally disturbed by many of the comments posted on this topic. It's obvious that many of you are so angry that this school was even opened in S. Dekalb that you welcome using an incident like this to fuel your already overtly racist rants. I am very concerned about this situation too because I hate seeing see any student black or otherwise being disruptive, not productive at school or destroying property. The students that we're involved in this childish behavior should of course be held accountable, plain and simple. Teenagers post stupid things everyday on social networking sites. Don't fool yourself into thinking all these kids are illiterate or impoverished. Stop making everything racial because you you are upset about having to pay taxes. News Flash: People in S. Dekalb have to pay taxes too!!!! But you don't have to listen to me. You can keep placated yourselves into thinking that you are superior to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:25 She may still be in high school and yes she is still learning, however the grammar errors in her writing should not be acceptable for high school, or even middle school students. You see, you students don't know what hard work and rigor really is, as you aren't able to earn a zero and get multiple chances to make work up. This is not the real world, and the leadership of the school system has failed you, if you believe that employers are going to keep you while you make mistakes over and over again, or don't do the work that they have asked you to do. Your parents have also failed you to allow the schools to treat you in this fashion and not expect more from you and the school system.

You are right that this incident probably didn't include all of the students, but I ask you, how many of those not involved tried to stop it from happening? How many of you spoke out against the destruction? How many of stood around and watched laughing, cracking jokes, encouraging, or ignoring? Unless you were trying to stop this violence, you were indeed part of the problem.

Cerebration said...

Certainly there were many students who did not participate in this - and were probably very scared. That is all the more reason to punish those who did and set up some very strong discipline rules. It's no different than out in the 'real world'. We live in a world of laws - laws and discipline for breaking those laws is all we have to protect the innocent.

What's concerning to me is that we seem to be entering an era where laws are ignored and people are not punished or worse, are protected from consequences for the crimes they commit.

A number of years ago, I was in a middle school as a volunteer working in the computer lab with students. At class change, I was in the hall when a fight broke out between 2 boys. These were really big kids - very strong. I certainly would have been seriously hurt if I got in the middle. Within a few minutes, the principal and another male teacher arrived and physically stopped the fight. The SRO was nowhere around for some reason. The whole thing erupted out of nowhere and was very frightening to the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:32 You are right, people in South DeKalb do pay taxes, but their homes do not have the value that many homes in the middle and Northern end of the county, and therefore they do not pay as high of an amount of taxes.

To me, and I did comment last night, it's not about the color of the students who did this. I really don't care, however, I am tired of things like this being covered up by administration. The bottom line for me, as a former teacher, resident and tax payer of DeKalb, is that the black administration are the ones who have screwed the kids here. They have required less and less of the students and have allowed discipline to virtually stop in many cases.

I did not bring the student's grammar up in a post, but the person is correct in letting that student know that they need to proof read before they post and write anything. A high school student should have better grammar than that shown. Students should even realize that what they tweet, post on Face Book, You Tube, and out in the web will follow them for the rest of their lives and their actions now could impede them from getting into the college that they want (yes colleges Google applicants) and future employment. If they aren't learning that at home or school, I am glad that someone stopped to let them in on this and hopefully they will realize that their actions now impact the rest of their lives.

Anonymous said...


1. Turn Up

(v) getting wild or excessively crazy. Typically used in the context of a party.

It is normally followed by a prepositional phrase (For the party, In that place, On that hoe) and it is often used in the past tense (turned up). "Turning up" is almost never said.

As far as I can tell, it is the 2011 equivalent of what Getting Crunk was in the early 2k's and late 90's.
We turned up in Mr. Mitchell's class when he had a sub last week.

I turn up every weekend.

Anonymous said...

"The one student that spoke out respectfully was disrespected. The comment in response to her was uncalled for. I'm very proud of you student 10:51."

December 17, 2011 12:15 AM

Anon 12:15 AM: Better for me to make a gentle correction than to have a prospective employer pass her over for a job. If you think that she was "disrespected" you need to get a clue.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 9:45. Like I stated before, the problem that I am having with a lot of the comments on this blog is they are definitely NOT coming from a place of concern about the futures of these students. That much is clear. It is about anger over paying taxes to support the schools. Believe it or not most concerned parents in the southern end of the county have many of same opinions about the failures of DCSS as you do. I am one of them. I agree completely that students need to be careful about how and what that they posts for the world to see. Every chance I get to tell students this I do because I care about THEM. Adults need to be careful as well, but you don't see that happening all the you? I honestly feel that many of the posters on this blog could care less bout the students in the south in of the county. The rhetoric that I see here is divisive and evidence of that.

Anonymous 9:32

Anonymous said...

9:32AM I agree with you. It truly bothers me to see the way this situation has been presented on this blog. I wish that these youth's pictures were taken off and referrals made to the links with warnings that some tweets are quite graphic in nature. To this point, I have encouraged people to read and participate in this blog as I strongly felt that it was a great, fair medium for conveying needed information. I am not so sure now. While I cannot express what I think about this reported behavior, do not fool yourselves that behaviors which are stupid, criminal in nature, and sometimes abnormal, are just happening in South Dekalb. I do not condone these behaviors but trust me, similar criminal, abnormal, and stupid behaviors happen in non-minority and affluent neighborhoods, TOO! Oftentimes it happens in a different manner. The difference is that oftentimes it is swept under the rug, or hidden from the masses and the media. Have you heard about Columbine? Parents, elected officials, administrators, corporations, and others should be held more accountable across these United States. Our policy makers, nationally and locally should be held more accountable. As a society, we are too permissive, and this happens across racial and socio-economic boundaries. Minorities do not own the major media outlets,yet garbage, filth, criminality, sex, and abnormal behaviors are increasing. Major manufacturers are making thong underwear for babies. What kind of behaviors is "Toddlers and Tiaras" preparing our children for? Ridiculous reality shows that condone promiscuity and abnormal behaviors, abound. Entertainers that have very low morals are made millionaires and idols by the society. This should be a wake-up call for everyone that if we adults do not put limits on behaviors of adults and children, the world is headed for pure destruction. Bury your heads in the sands if you will, but the worst may be yet to come.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Anon. 9:10 - The internet is a wild a wacky place to exchange ideas. The Feds want the power to turn it off at any time. Incidents like this can spread much faster with the social networking tools available to all but this "virtual riot" at AMHS might cause our leaders to stifle the exchange of ideas and free speech rights amongst our students and teachers, we don't want that right? Inciting a riot online should be dealt with, no one has the right to walk into a crowded public space and yell FIRE if there is not a fire at all. I am looking for a reasoned response and and explanation of what happened at AMHS. Has anything regarding the incident been sent by the school to parents? All the schools in our area have great websites and email blasts that are used frequently for announcements as well as alerts like lock-downs etc....

At our DeKalb County school, kids are allowed to have cell phones on property, but they must remain OFF! No excuses if a phone is found on, it is taken away. Students are allowed to turn them on once they exit the building.

With so much money being spent for a DCSS police force, maybe we should direct some of those funds to establish a task force to watch the social media sites and the groups created around each high school.

I still can't believe other schools were not aware of or told about the situation at AMHS before schools opened Friday. This could have spread quickly to other schools.

BOE reaction and the Super's decisions will be watched closely. I hope our local journalists are working this story, it needs to be told!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:26 am

I have seen way too much dysfunction on the south side. The people running the schools are not up to the job, and the Peter Principle has taken over big time. I saw them run off one incredibly talented and committed teacher, a man with a real education and a real undertsnding if how to communicate. Since the people living down there are unable or unwilling to force real change, I say let's just split things up.

Anonymous said...

It's a fact of life - kids create their own language to communicate outside of the comprehension of most adults. It's a generational thing. Watch old episodes of Leave it to Beaver if you don't believe me.

The language in these tweets doesn't implicate any of these students in the destructive acts of a few students. And those few students were probably making a conscious attempt to push authority at Arabia Mountain.

I'm willing to believe that some of the administration there don't inspire respect from many of the students and faculty.

There are some great, intelligent, hard-working students and faculty at Arabia Mountain. A lot of them.

At Arabia Mountain, the students and faculty are more intelligent and savvy than their principal and one AP. And they've made better decisions.

I don't work there, but I've worked in a successful school in Dekalb. A new principal is in trouble without the confidence of faculty and students in a successful school.

It's just so fortunate that no one was seriously hurt. Or were they? Dekalb owes the public a statement regarding this incident.

I sure don't condone what happened at Arabia Mtn, but I know that the situation had been brewing since the beginning of the year.

And I have a feeling that the top admin was unconsciously doing the brewing.

Anonymous said...

I to am an arabia mountain high school student, what happened at our school is noyhing normal. I am not trying to condone the behavior of my peers, but I believe the responses to this happening is pretty cruel. I notice how many are telling us to go to our home school, but most of us can't or we don't want to because of the issues there. And not all of us are the animals you claim us to be!

Anonymous said...

@9:59 and 12:44 am: Perhaps 10:51 could use gentle correction, but I thank her for posting because it is important for us to hear about this incident from Arabia students. The general rule on this blog is to refrain from criticizing spelling and grammar mistakes. I appreciate this rule because I am guilty of mistakes in my own posts. But if you truly think proofreading is very important, note that there are numerous errors in 12:44's post. (BTW everyone, the dictionary says that "proofread" is one word.)

Or consider the exclusivity of 7:32 pm, speaking of the minority who is carrying Dekalb taxwise: "the minorioty I am reffering to is the 1%." I'm not happy either about my taxes or about how they are spent, but I doubt I'm in the top 1%. Do you really believe that only the wealthiest 1% of DeKalb residents are responsible citizens?

I am not condoning food fights and destruction of property, and am extremely appalled by the attitude expressed in the tweets. I hope that the students who did this receive the punishment they deserve. I'm just trying to say that we bloggers have gotten a little excited and are jumping on each other and, in the process, are displaying our prejudices. Making fun of students' names - really? Let's all breathe, then listen to each other to try to figure out whether there is any way to make things any better.

DinoMom said...

@Dec 16,2011 10:11 PM
@Dec 16,2011 10:30 PM

To the two posters that basically said that "kids will be kids" and if the parents don't like how the schools are run, to take their kids out of the system:

I did just that last year when I finally faced the fact that DCSS was utterly failing my child. I'm using his college fund to pay for private school and have no idea how we will now pay for college, but I felt that was just no choice but to get him out of there.

However, I was fortunate to have had the resources to do so. Many parents in this county do not. They have no choice but to keep their children in the public school system. Most of these parents care desperately about the education their children are getting, just as the parents with deeper pockets do. They see education as a way for their children to have a better life then they themselves have had.

Are there parents that don't care? Yes, of course. Are there kids who are going be destructive and disruptive and who don't belong in our schools? Again, that's undeniable. However, the rest of the children who are trying to succeed deserve safe, effective schools where they can indeed learn that you can pull yourself up by working hard. Right now, that doesn't exist in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Weren't there people out there who were going after the teacher who came up with the phrase Education Ghetto? A riot at the best school in south DeKalb with live twitter feeds offering direct evidence of a ghetto mind set? Isn't that the same school where one parent threatened another with a gun in the parking lot? What more needs to be said about how low DeKalb has come?

Anonymous said...

@9:45 am, I so agree with your statement about the black administration. I wanted to say something like it in an earlier post but couldn't find the polite words as you have.

I am going to try now. The black administration, whether it BOE members, Supt, High level admin, Prin, have been in the driver seat in this county for quite sometime. Why isn't the community of black children doing better? I am not the first to say this here (on this blog) so please resist the temptation to burn me at the stake.

What are these children who feel the need/ability/entitled to "Turn Up" going to do for us in the future? For a county with a number like 70% of one type of race, they aren't helping each other out at all.

The entitlement society we have become says most of it. I think it is a "I'm gonna get mine", mentality. What ever "mine" is I leave that up to the reader.

At some point the South Dekalb folks have to stop blaming the North side of the county and take some responsibillity for their own children. I know there are bad parents, innatentive parents and folks that just should stop having kids everywhere. But responsibility starts with yourself.

The children who were involved should be dealt with severly. They should have two weeks of ISS, made to clean the school, mop the floors and write a letter to the entire staff, students to apologize for their disrespect and criminal acts. If they have enough energy to plan, committ mayhem then the response from the county/school admin should be swift, thoughtful and full of labor intensive community service.

And not one person has mentioned the fact that while all of this was going on, it was being tweeted and F/B. WHY ARE THE SCHOOLS NOT PUNISHING THE KIDS FOR USING THEIR CELL PHONE DURING THE SCHOOL DAY? It is very clear in the Code of Student Conduct-No cell usage during the instructional time and that is defined as the start and end of school day. Not during class time, the entire school day.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 10:28
Well, if you leave the blog because you don't like the tenor of the posts, then the tenor will become more extreme because there will be no counter balance. That's happened to both political parties in Congress. They have become so polarized they can't communicate. Both parties have marked out their own territories and have no interest in what the other party has to say. When you cede your voice in any realm and draw together with others who think just like you, then common ground is lost. The Internet has allowed many of us to only hear our own voices.

If you have an article you would like to post, email it to Cerebration. You need to put your opinion (and hopefully some credible data) out there if you want to present your point of view. Every opinion on this blog has some value even if it just let's us know the real feelings of others not disguised by the veneer of polite social discourse.

It's often shocking to see the anger and vitriol displayed on this blog and on Ms. Downey's Get Schooled blog. But it is enlightening as well. These tweets are in the same venue. We think we know our children, but at some point they separate from us and begin to express their own opinions and actions. We don't always agree with their opinions and actions, but you don't clone yourself when you have a child. Many of these students will change over time and morph into upstanding citizens. Others will have trouble making the transition to responsible adulthood. All of us parents just hope they don't end up living in our spare room when they are 30 years old.

Dekalbparent said...

Anon 12:06 (and those who posted similar sentiments),

I could not agree more. The tone of some of the posts on this thread is disturbing to me.

Perhaps it is envy of a school that appears to have a beautiful setting and shiny amenities (an understandable sentiment - we would all love to have them). Perhaps it is the North-South "they get more than we do" emnity that is encouraged by DeKalb politicians of all persuasions. Perhaps, in some cases, it is basic, nasty, old fashioned prejudice rearing its head.

I read those tweets, and it appeared to me that many of them (the "I survived" ones) were students jumping on the bandwagon. I really cannot tell how many participated by reading these tweets.

I do remember one in particular, though: "I stayed in a classroom on
TurnUp Thursday" That one stopped me for a few.

I truly believe that there are many, many parents everywhere in the county who have their children's best interests at heart and want them to succeed. I don't think very many of them want their kids to behave this way.

I also believe that the administrators of many, if not most, of the schools are not prepared to prevent this sort of thing, and this is the BIG problem here, the one that must be addressed immediately. It is much harder to know what is coming when plans are made via social networking - intercepting notes as they did 30 years ago was a piece of cake in comparison.

SROs as they are currently are in DeKalb are inadequate for the job. We need real police in the schools - an formal connection to DeKalb Police. The principals and teachers need authority to enforce immediate and serious consequences with actual backing from the top level of county administrators. Even the courts need to be more on the side of school administrators who take a firm stand and less on the side of frivolous litigation. The no-zero/plenty of do-over policies need to go away, with provisions made for the fallout.

I am not foolish enough to believe we can create the ideal Ozzie and Harriet fantasy by doing these things, but it would at least help those on the front lines.

Anonymous said...

The Administration got what they deserved Thursday, for everything they put those children threw for the past 4 years. I think someone should call the news and do a full investigation of the WHOLE school from academics to everything. This school is corrupted.

The students cheat and administration allows it because it makes them look good. They also are not preparing these children for college.

And this school should not care what students put on twitter. It has nothing to do with them. Its there personal lives. We don't stalk THEIR facebook pages and see what they write about us.

Anonymous said...

"And this school should not care what students put on twitter. It has nothing to do with them. Its there personal lives. "

That's an interesting comment. I agree that it is only relevant if they used Twitter to organize the disturbance. In my high school 45 years ago we used similar language - just not in front of adults. The Internet sets in stone the words you consider personal.

BTW - I don't agee that Arabia Mountain High school deserved this to happen. The custodians are the ones left to clean up the mess, not the administrators.

Maybe there are some deep seated problems at Arabia Mountain which is what you seem to be alluding. Perhaps Dr. Atkinson needs to be starting a real dialogue with the students, parents and teachers at Arabia Mountain to see what needs to be done to avoid this in the future and set policies, procedures and programs in place that ensure academic integrity. This is true of every school in DeKalb. Parents, teachers and students are the MOST important people in the school system, yet they are not driving the educational train.

Anonymous said...

The AJC was notified about the incident at AMHS yesterday evening, yet there is not anything about it on their website. I do not subscribe to the paper so I do not know what is available digitally or in print. The AJC is not the paper it once was for coverage and in the past month they have not been as attentive to their website as they once were. However, seeing how this all happened on Thursday you would have thought there would have been a paragraph or two written about this incident on Friday.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dekalbparent for offering reasoned commentary. Regretfully there are some that have bought into the 'us vs them' mentality that is prevalent in this county and used this as an opportunity to bash teenagers on this blog. The tone here has taken a turn for the worse.

Teenagers do dumb things and have since I was a teenager. There were students that started food fights, pulled fire alarms, organized skip days and other dumb things that teenagers do at the time. Now we have the internet and 'dumb teenagers' put these actions out across the world for everyone to see and judge. They will have a very hard lesson to learn.

I don't think these were the actions of a majority of the students so I won't paint a broad brush as some have done. It never is yet even those that did not participate get caught up in the exhilaration of what is going on. There are cameras in the school and hopefully the administration will take their time to review the film and take appropriate action against the guilty parties. It is a known fact that there are many students at this school that do not want to be there. Perhaps this is the new version of 'Rebels with a Cause'?

The school administration has requested a meeting with all parents during the first week of school after the Christmas break. Perhaps whatever action will be taken will be announced at that time. They should not take a broad brush approach to punishment over the actions of a minority.

Anonymous said...

Well, not every altercation in Gwinnett, APS, or Cobb makes the AJC either.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:12
"The school administration has requested a meeting with all parents during the first week of school after the Christmas break."

Is the school administration meeting with the teachers as well? The students are in the teachers' classes 90% of the time. What do the teachers think with respect to:
Grading systems
Disciplinary support
Class sizes
Parental involvement
Timely and relevant assessment feedback
Remedial education
Gifted education
Counseling department
Security Department
After school programs
Clubs and other organizations

All of the above affect classroom management and school behavior. Until the administration involves the personnel who students spend most of their time with, positive changes cannot be made.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1:36

Correct me if I am wrong but don't most schools have staff meetings every week? I wouldn't think the administration would announce a staff meeting to parents. I do believe the staff will be aware of the parents meeting.

Cerebration said...

We had no intention of making any kind of racial statement or statements about Arabia in general. The original contact we received was from an Arabia parent concerned for her child. There were reports of police (see the photos), tasering of students, (UNCONFIRMED), EMS, a fire, a lockdown and general mayhem. We thought it was newsworthy.

Cerebration said...

FWIW, a couple of years ago, we ran a post about the bomb threats at Lakeside. We also thought this was something parents should know was happening, but being treated as if it was not serious.

Anonymous said...

I am assuming that the AMHS parent that originated the question "What's up at Arabia? came came to this blog for the same reason that many other S. Dekalb parents try to get some transparent answers about what really is going on in DCSS and to participate in a dialog that will hopefully be a catalyst for positive solutions and change for the betterment all of students in this county, at least that is why I did. However, I did NOT come here to participate in race bating discussions with those that launch attacks and generalizations at all S. Dekalb parents and students. Some of you adults surely can't talk about the teenagers....because you need to be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1:41 pm

The points to ask the teachers what changes need to be made to ensure the students behavior, safety, and academic progress is top notch. It's surprising how little teachers are consulted by the DCSS administration at the local or the Central Office level. Yet teachers are the personnel who best know the needs of the students.

The environment of the students is the same environment the teachers share. If there are problems with the teacher's environment (e.g. Pressure to change grades, turn a blind eye to cheating, or give students points when they do no work, discipline problems that disrupt the classroom not being dealt with, etc), then this affects the students' environment, and vice versa.

Teachers need to be empowered to help create a positive learning environment. They and the students have the most at stake here. The school system needs to be relying on the teachers to find out what works for students and what does not work. Handing down edicts that are not working for students is happening all over DeKalb as evidenced by our poor achievement in many schools and behavior problems in others.

DeKalb students are less capable, our teachers are not less prepared, and our parents are not less involved than other demographically similar school systems in the metro area. In many instances, DeKalb has more capable students, better prepared, teachers and more involved parents than other systems who are moving ahead of us.

DeKalb has a very top-down approach in what must become a bottoms-up endeavor.

To take a quote from Thomas Friedman in his most recent book That Used to be Us":
"more and more, innovation that happens from the top down tends to be orderly but dumb. Innovation that happens from the bottom up tends to be chaotic but smart."

Making the teachers a real part of change as well as asking students and parents may be chaotic and time consuming, but that's where the smart data will come from.

Cerebration said...

I agree. It's always disappointing to read the racially biased commentary. However, I leave most of them, as they serve to show the depth of racial issues we have in this county. Everything usually becomes a discussion about race. I look forward to getting past that. I think on occasion, we are able to do so here. Some comments are quite balanced, IMO. The comments in general, represent the world we live in. Some are thoughtful, some are angry, some are from left field. Just like real people.

Anonymous said...

More shameful DeKalb County behavior, this making national news:

Anonymous said...

I appreciated those who are saying we need more teacher input. I am a Dekalb teacher and many of us are frustrated. Anecdotal evidence of the problems we face:
A student told a teacher that it didn't matter if he was written up for disruptive behavior, nothing would happen anyway. He is right. Oh, and he had over 100 tardies for the semester. Nothing was done about these, either.

This is at the same school where a teacher, who needed to use the restroom, left a mandated professional training and was tracked down by administration.

Anonymous said...

Correcting my typo errors:
DeKalb students are not less capable, our teachers are not less prepared, and our parents are not less involved than other demographically similar school systems in the metro area. In many instances, DeKalb has more capable students, better prepared teachers and more involved parents than other systems who are moving ahead of us.

Anonymous said...

It seems every Christmas we read about some church in Georgia getting robbed. I was struck by the response to the robbery.

Look at what of the pastors of the church said:
"If somebody could come in on a Sunday night while church is going on and literally rob a church — not only rob it but endanger the people and possibly could have set this place on fire — I believe that my work here is more needed than it's ever been."

Anonymous said...

once at my church six people had their hubcaps stolen from their cars during the service

Georgia Gal said...

Where was Security when this was going obn ?

Anonymous said...

It is very disappointing to read this blog today. I am shocked that students think it is OK to have food fights, set fire to trash cans and flood restrooms. This isn't school pride. This isn't a first amendment right. This isn't making a statement. It's vandalism. If you did this in a public building or to someone's home, you would be arrested.

Unfortunately, DCSS has a lot to answer for. When you allow students to break the rules, they will misbehave in increasingly aggressive ways. The problem is that realistic limits have not been set and enforced.

While it is possible that this event was named after-the-fact, naming it implies that it was planned. DCSS has surveillance systems in all of its schools. I hope that the "school police force" and DCSS administrators are looking at that video and identifying the students who were involved.

IMHO a individual's right to a free public education ends when that student's behavior interferes with the rights of others to get a free public education.

DCSS needs to tell parents that school custodians will not be cleaning up this building. The students involved in the event should be doing all of the work. If the parents don't want their kids cleaning up the mess they made, they can home school their kids or pay for a private education. My tax dollars should be going toward education and not some teenager's idea of a having a good time at school.

Anonymous said...

The AJC doesn't have to cover every story. That isn't what print media is about.

Food fights happen.

To the students who are unhappy with the structure of Arabia Mt., YOU HAVE A CHOICE. You can choose to return to your home school. NO uniforms, no parental involvement contracts, etc. This is your choice -- If your parents won't go along with your desire to change schools, that is a totally desperate issue.

Arabia Mt. was conceived by a group of THEME SCHOOL PARENTS who wanted the ability to continue to segregate their children from children whose parents are less involved. They want the strictness and they want the uniforms.

You have a choice -- use it.

Anonymous said...

Anon December 17, 2011 @ 9:45 said "You are right, people in South DeKalb do pay taxes, but their homes do not have the value that many homes in the middle and Northern end of the county, and therefore they do not pay as high of an amount of taxes."

Cut the crap, you obviously haven't really driven around South DeKalb. I am sure that the taxes that they pay are comparable to what homeowners pay in North Dekalb. BTW, North DeKalb isn't that great.

The fact of the matter is...ALL kids and parents have issues.
My education outside the African American bubble started when I entered the University of Georgia. I was mortified by the behavior of those students. I had never seen so much liquor, drunkenness, and suicidal admissions in my life at that point. These where Caucasian kids. Later, while stationed in Germany, I saw a lot of babies left in Germany by Caucasian soldiers (does this sound familiar?). I have also worked in the DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Newton County DFCS offices. The behavior and attitudes that I saw from Caucasian clients was the same as you would find in an uneducated African American community. Finally, I worked as a GED examiner in Newton County. This assignment was quite interesting. I saw a lot of teenage pregnancy, ignorance, lying, bad grammar used in the writing test, and disrespectful behavior from Caucasian kids.

For those of you that look at South DeKalb and point your fingers at the black have problems too. We are all in this together whether you know it or not.

Most of these kids are going to be fine. they need guidance. We will need these kids as we get older. For those of you that lost most of your 401k in the stock market, these kids are going to be reason that you get a Social Security checks (forget the political BS).

And now back to Toddlers and Tiares...

Anonymous said...

In the jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that this is a Black/White issue. It has to do with teenagers misbehaving, destroying public property, and interfering with learning at school. I would be just as quick to complain and I would be just as angry, if these were White kids.

Anonymous said...

But they're not.

Anonymous said...

Making a racial issue of this incident does no one any good.

The parents of the students at Arabia Mountain will be the most concerned people in the county with respect to what happened. No doubt they have already been expressing their concerns to Dr. Atkinson and the AMHS administration. AMHS has many involved parents. Does anyone think any of the parents condone this? They will be asking the tough questions when they talk to their children and when they talk to the school administration.

There is the issue of tax dollars to contain and clean-up the mess, but this really pales by comparison to the fact that students could easily get hurt in a such a melee. Their child's safety is going to be on the mind of the parents, and that is what any good parent should consider first and foremost.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cerebration said...

Like I said before, I'm sure there are good students who were not enjoying this mayhem. We can't paint an entire school with the broad brush of misbehavior from one group. We do, however, need to assess how this happened and create a support system for principals to help handle it. Obviously, the DeKalb police came out in full force as they thought it was serious.

Anonymous said...

When my son was in elementary school, he got involved in a crayon throwing game. Crayons were ground into the recently polished floor of the classroom. The punishment for everyone involved was to stay after school a scrub the floor. He never got involved in something like that again.

LaLaMeeka Chadwalli said...

I wonder if this fancy school has security cameras? I for one would love to see the footage of all of this mayhem.

I feel for the good kids, the Arabia kids that really want to learn, to expand their minds. To have their learning stifled by others...well I just wish they had somewhere else to go. Not all Arabia kids are rotten apples, but they are clearly outnumbered by those with..shall we say a distinct lack of talent?

LaLaMeeka Chadwalli said...

Also, did you notice how the AJC and their new editor totally punted on this news item? It's all over social media while the old school guys are asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

You all do realize that things like this happen at NATIONAL SCHOOLS daily, and you don't see CNN running it mainstream ?! Okay.

Maybe I'm a little confused at the fact that some of these parents are beginning to stereotype EVERY student. Arabia Mountain HS is no different than Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside, Stephenson, Lithonia, Redan, Cross Keys,etc. We live in a world were adults think it's okay to freely curse out the cashier at Publix over some milk... Don't blame the students,teachers, administrators or even the janitors.. blame PARENTS.. and for those who think their TAX DOLLARS were used for clean up and repairs, they weren't the students cleaned the cafeteria, hallway, and bathroom. Please understand if you only highlight the negative in a situation that's all you will consider..instead of breaking down the school..HELP BUILD IT UP... not enough parents come on a daily takes administration to send an email or phone call for parents to come and volunteer...SAD.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 9:28pm, content and style outs you as DCSS insider!

Amazing how many of these posts are written in tone of minimizing events and shifting attention.

Nice try!

Once again, I don't give a rodent's
posterior what happens nationally,
I want to know what the H*LL is happening in my backyard and how my local taxes are squandered.

Citizens, do not fall prey to more smoke and mirrors, bait and switches. Keep you eyes on the prize as they say.

Cerebration said...

Very glad to hear that the students did the scrubbing. Good old-fashioned response Arabia!

Anonymous said...

And the administration wants to move to even larger schools with an even broader mix of students in the local schools? Clearly the administration/s (upper and school level) cannot deal with what they have now.

If they want to create larger schools, please, create themes organized as such: 1) Schools with students who want to learn and who are willing to sign a pledge to NOT behave in this manner - with an understanding that if they do, they are out, and 2) schools that are focused on meeting the federal guidelines of providing an education to all - those with no interest in really learning and those with significant behavior problems who prefer to meddle in the education of others.

Who cares if the latter doesn't make AYP? At this point, we really need to start focusing on educating those who are interested in learning. As it is now, the focus is solely on the students whose interest is in creating havoc. Look at how many comments this blog topic has received versus any academically oriented topic focused on success. We are always addressing the needs of those who have no REAL interest in learning.

I have no problems providing additional funds to those who cannot afford it and who want to learn.... bring it on. But I am sick of putting my kids in schools where they are bullied and the bulliers end up receiving awards. At some point, behavior - GOOD BEHAVIOR - should matter.

Anonymous said...

I truly hope that the main focus of this blog is to be a forum for discussing the many issues that concern DCSS with the intended purpose of improving it. It appears that many are only posting here to bash and insight a tone that is as counterproductive as the behavior of teenagers that participated in the school disruption on last Thursday. We as adults are supposed to be better than that. If you are not here to be part of a solution then you too are part of the problem. Name calling teenagers? Really? As a educator for over 20 years who has taught on both ends of the county, a parent of two college students I know first hand that kids of all races and backgrounds need guidance...but you don't have to be a teacher or parent to realize that. Enough with the hate serves no purpose.

Anonymous said...

Just because the students "cleaned up" their mess does not, I repeat, does not turn back the clock!

If DCSS and the AMHS administration allow the perps to skate because the damages have been mitigated, then another crime has been comitted! The crime of not punishing the guilty.

Just because Bernie Madoff has paid back some of the money he stole from his investment scheme does not get him a get out of jail card!

A bank robber still goes to jail if the money is recovered!

The vandals at AMHS need to be identified with swift and appropriate punishment delivered.

Case Closed!

Atlanta Media Guy said...

If parents at Arabia are concerned maybe one should let us know what the school and DCSS has done to notify parents what happened Thursday.

Were emails sent out? I know a meeting is scheduled after the holidays, by then this story will be in the trash bin of history. At least that's what the administration is hoping. Like most things at DCSS, I fear it will get swept under the carpet.

To the folks who keep saying this was only a food fight, if that's true, why were 18 police vehicles seen at the school after the Turn Up started?

Were parents told about the incident Thursday afternoon or evening? I don't know if I would have let my kid go back to school on Friday. I'm just not sure, finals were taking place.

I wish this was just a food fight but the tweets and pictures clearly show something a little bit more intense happened.

I would love to see the video. Will the local media asks to see the tapes?

Anonymous said...

You do realize this is a article on Get Schooled?

LaLaMeeka Chadwalli said...

Behold the power of DCSW. AJC gets called out on having nadda on this incident and "bam" 20 minutes later DeKalb School Watch posts an article about it. Days later. Yep, the AJC is THE place to go for up to the minute local news.

Without DCSW so many would know so little. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Maureen Downey:
"I have asked DeKalb Schools for official comment. I have not received one yet."


This is the big first test for the Atkinson administration, and they punted. It's an either/or. Either the administration knew everything about it, and chose not to make a public statement,
Walter Woods and the rest of his staff are already celebrating the holiday break.

Very surprised and disappointed that Dr. Atkinson did not make a public statement that behavior like this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. And that parents need to be part of the solution.

Yes, there are issues at every high school in the country, but in DeKalb, Arabia is the newest high school and much, much effort was put into the LEED certification, etc. to make this the shining light of DCSS high schools.

Again, can't believe Dr. Atkinson isn't all over this and setting the tone as superintendent. She let Walter Woods be the point person with the media about the band suspensions. She is the public face of DCSS, not Walter Woods or Jeff Dickerson. Where are you, Dr. A?

Anonymous said...

DCSS School Police Department:
Two chiefs, nine detectives, four admin assistants, almost 200 SRO's, and a whole lot of take home vehicles.

No return on investment, no oversight, no clue!

Anonymous said...

A Lump of Coal

This was Dr. Atkinson's "Holiday" Bulletin to Employees:


To: All DeKalb Employees
From: Dr. Cheryl L. H. Atkinson, Superintendent
Subject: DeKalb Schools Superintendent Bulletin
Date: December 16, 2011


This Superintendent Bulletin is a new communication that moving forward will provide messages directly from the Office of the Superintendent to all DeKalb County School System employees. I appreciate your attention to these communications.

I would like to remind all of our administrators, area superintendents, principals, teachers, employees and staff that everyone within the DeKalb County School System in all decision making and actions must understand and strictly follow:

• Federal, state, local and all applicable laws and regulations
• DeKalb County School Board Policy
• School System Administrative Regulations

In addition, all employees must follow any and all directives from the Superintendent and supervisors in chain of command.

I know and expect that each of us will follow these guidelines and will continue to conduct ourselves as professionals committed to our single mission of improving student success.

On this last day of school before the winter break, I would also encourage us all to use these days away from the School System to re-energize ourselves and be ready for an exceptional New Year in 2012.

We have many challenges ahead, but I know working together we can achieve tremendous things for DeKalb Schools.

I would like to wish everyone in the DeKalb Schools family a wonderful holiday season, and I will see you all in the New Year.

Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

I hope that our star head of Internal Affairs, Ron Ramsey, and his No. 2 Robert Tucker, are all over TurnUp Thursday. That's why you get paid the big bucks for your 9 months of work Ron (he's at the state capitol for 3 months of the year).

So much of this goes back to the Board of Ed and Chair Tom Bowen. The BOE allows a lack of discipline. Bowen allows BOE members to act without any discipline themselves. Yes, the Central Office is still corrupt and bloated, but the BOE enables the disaster.

Hey Gene Walker, isn't your son a SRO. How many relatives do you have working for DCSS these days?

Anonymous said...

This bulletin from Atkinson went out Friday afternoon with no mention of Arabia Mountain nor of a general comment regarding student behavior.

Do they think the incident is still a secret?

Dr. Atkinson should have made a public statement Thursday afternoon after the incidents at Arabia Mtn had been brought under control.

The transparency promise was just a ruse.

Had_Enough said...

Everyone who posted your disgust on this blog should email Dr. Atkinson and every one of the members of BOE and demand appropriate action be taken and a full report made to the public.

Anonymous said...

The thing is this ... you can call out -- by name -- the overpaid thieves and thugs and family-and-friends-incompetents in DCSS, but they don't care. Call them out by name. Daily. They don't care.

These thieves and thugs and family-and-friends-incompetents have survived by NOT ever responding ... to anything. There is absolutely NOTHING that any of us can say or do that will embarrass these awful people to change their ways. They simply don't care. And why should they? They maintain their high-paying positions by brazenly NOT caring.

It is becoming clear that Atkinson is cut from the same cloth.

NOTHING will change for the taxpayers, teachers and students in DeKalb County until and unless
(1) Atlanta gets real investigative media with guts -- and the drive and determination to ferret out and report on blatant corruption in DCSS;
(2) legal and law enforcement agencies with investigative authority, arrest powers and the legal ability to serve search warrants decide to take on -- and take out -- the institutional corruption that is DeKalb County School System.

Anonymous said...

Earnest Brown is doing a great job with the twitter comments.

Anonymous said...

We now want a press conference after every high school food fight?

We keep this up and we will find ourselves on CNN's Anderson Cooper Ridiculist.

Calm down and focus on curriculum, budget, and improving the lower grades.

Cerebration said...

We were not reacting to a simple food fight, we were reacting to reports that it escalated into a fire, flood in the restrooms, fights, some kind of harm to a AP, and the dozen plus police cars showing up after the call and the following report that a student was 'tasered'...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:13pm Obviously you are another DCSS insider or agent for DCSS.

Again, trying to minimize the exposure and divert attention away from the so-called crowm jewel of DCSS.

Sorry, we aren't drinking your kool-aid!

AMSH has a bigger problem than a food fight.

You get paid per entry or blog that drives attention in a different direction? Keep trying and we'll keep exposing your efforts!

Anonymous said...

This is 6:13.

I do not quarrel that the scope of this incident--if true and I believe it's true because of the posters--deserves its Dekalb County School watch feature.

I was simply reacting to the call by some zealous posters for a "public statement by Dr. Atkinson" to all Dekalb.

I suspect that emails and/or calls went out to the AMHS community. That should suffice.

No, I am not a hired agent of DCSS.

My neighborhood high school suffered arson in the library and offices in the late 90's, food fights, serial bomb threats, and numerous destructive senior pranks in the last few years. I would not think it appropriate to have the Superintendent to turn these events into county-wide news.

Cerebration said...

In my little hometown, those kinds of events would be major news. But then again, they generally spend their time watching the corn grow.

That said -- It’s really pointless to discuss this further, as we don’t know what really happened. We reacted to reports we were getting from students and parents that there was a food fight, a fire, a flood in the bathroom, a possibly injured AP, and other mayhem. We downloaded photos of over a dozen DeKalb patrol cars that responded. It caused many parents great concern. However, it’s plainly obvious now that it’s over that we will NEVER know what went on. The communications have been shut down and the PR push is to downplay the whole thing into a bunch of overreaction to a food fight. End of story – we can’t know any more.

Forgot to mention that students were reporting that a student was tasered by a police officer. But we will never know. DCSS does everything in their power to sweep the bad news under the rug. There’s nothing behind the curtain – move along now… Until the ‘next’ event.

I do think students were trying to make some kind of statement. However, they were met with serious law enforcement response. One has to wonder if 12+ cop cars would show up at a Lakeside or a Dunwoody “food fight”.

If a student has something to report or some kind of explanation as to why this all went down, feel free to tell your story to the community at DeKalb School Watch or write to Maureen at the AJC. That’s the only way we’ll ever know.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Is this story so worthy of so many freaking comments? This is not the first time a school has had a huge food fight or a student pulled a fire alarm. (North or South)
Yes, it is a huge deal that a student wanted to set the fire alarms off in the school by waving a lighter underneath the sprinkler in the bathroom. That student I am sure will be dealt with accordingly. However, to categorize the whole school as thugs and hoodlums, is beyond ignorant!
Actual facts:
no broken pipes,
no internet code given to students by the school
no one tasered
no trashcans on fire
no principal hit or attacked
2 food fights
1 flooded bathroom
2 fights
1 twitter incited riot
Is it embarassing? Absolutely
Should parent meetings take place? yes

Please Move on!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous 8:18pm or should we say the PR Department or hired PR gun to further blow smoke...I believe you are a big "O" Obfuscator! is it you claim to know the facts?

Sounds like inside information at the least, employment at the site at best!


Anonymous said...

Some of the posters here have shown extreme levels of ridiculousness/bitterness over taxes and a new school being built in S. Dekalb over this topic. Calling teenagers thugs, making fun of their names and for them to be incarcerated over food fights? OK you've now officially lost all credibility. Good thing some of you are not in charge.

It goes without saying that the students who were responsible for this should have consequences for the mayhem they caused.....but stop this already. Your racism is showing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:43pm

"Good thing some of you are not in charge."


You have the right numbers for the wrong lottery!

That's the problem, those in charge!

Some of us should be in charge!

And who are the "uses"...

That would be people of any race, creed, color or sexual orientation, time zone or political persuasion that truly understands the depths of despair this county (and country) is in with respect to educating our massses.

That would be people who are willing to make the tough choices, to take the unpopular stand and not wilt in response to statements like yours that claim racism at every opportunity!

That would be people who will hold students accountable and hold the standard of acheivements higher.

That would be people who resist the entitlement mentality and people who don't think the government should provide for their every want and need at someone elses expense.

Yes, it's is a shame, no, a crime that people like us are not in charge!

Instead, we have people perhaps like you. Over their heads in jobs they are ill prepared to handle. Promoted up the ranks because of who they know, what organizations they are affiliated with, or what church they tithe to, or who they are related to.

It's not a race thing, a tax thing or a you got a new school's a performance thing!
And we have a long history of non-performers and it appears the train keeps on rolling.

When given the choice of lead, follow, or get out of the way, you are not suppose to chose "get out of the way."

I apologize for the length of this rant but as it has been said over and over...

"For evil to prevail, good men need do nothing."



Anonymous said...

To all of you who are minimizing what happened at Arabia Mtn, you're either in denial that something like this could happen there, you're part of Walter Woods PR machine, or you're an ostrich.

FYI: Lockdowns are routinely reported in the AJC no matter what school,where, or in what system!

This was no mere food fight and no one apparently has a grasp of what went on nor the scope of it.

Some of you are showing your hand with the supposed "official account," better "PR minimization," of a major disciplinary disaster. Arabia Mtn was shut down for half a day on a finals day just before winter break!

This is a big deal and should be treated like a big deal by the admin. Silence is the utterly WRONG way of dealing with this.

In my book, ye naysayers and minimizers have no credibility.

This was badly, poorly, incompetently, foolishly handled by the county and the local school admin team at Arabia Mtn.

That's the way I see it, and I'm sure it's the way the rest of us see it from the inside who see this kind of disaster every day, even since Dr. Atkinson took over (with limbs connected to a few hands from a few of the Dekalb Board of Puppeteers.)

Every time I get a little hopeful about something Dr. Atkinson may have done (according to her PR dude), I remember who hired her with great touting of their own confidence in their choice of the "best candidate"--the Dekalb BOE. Then my hope vanishes, and I feel like I felt with Uncle Crawford running the show.

I wonder now if anyone can fix Dekalb schools!

It's gonna take a huge mind shift or paradigm shift. It may take a miracle that even Eddie Long couldn't manufacture.

And we haven't even gotten to the Uncle Crawford trials--the great drama that may expose the rotteness that Dr. Atkinson will have to attempt to remove. Like St. George and the dragon I guess, but her odds are worse than his.

Anonymous said...

As a public relations professional with extensive successful experience in community relations, I can say with confidence that the whole issue with Arabia Mountain High School was poorly handled.

In fact, it was not handled at all.

Had it been handled appropriately and professionally -- NOT ignored, NOT swept under the rug -- but transparently and truthfully, then there would be far less outcry on DeKalb School Watch and in other outlets.

In the absence of truth, transparency and trust -- and in an information vacuum -- the grapevine takes over and speculation runs rampant. Like kudzu, once the grapevine gets started it is difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate.

Walter Woods: DCSS could have mismanaged the Arabia Mountain High School situation without you and your exorbitant salary.

Anonymous said...

If I was an AMHS student, I wouldn't report anything on this blog. For what? So they can be ripped apart by many of the "adult" posters on for trying in chime in on this discussion, so they can be made fun of and called thugs.

Students don't do it because too many posting here don't really care about you. They are only here to express their anger and rant about their own agenda.

Instead, talk with your parents, teachers and fellow students that are truly concerned about your futures. Work hard to study and learn about how to be a positive influence in your school and community.

Don't waste your time venting to a bunch of angry people hiding behind computers that have a whole different agenda.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 8:18
YOUR WRONG! I am a reputable source who witnessed events that happened on Thursday, December 15.

First, There was broken pipes, as you can see the bathroom was flooded caused by the pipes being broken actually causing 1/3 or the school to be sectioned off.

Second, The wifi code is accesible to students. If you used your brain were in the woods with no network service delivered to our cell phones, so how would we be able to TWEET about the incidents happening. The whole student body including faculty and staff has the network code.

Third, I don't think anyone was tasered, bt there were about 7 police officers in front of the school nearly close to tasing us.

Fourth, Someone definitely set the trashcan on fire causing the fire alarm to go off. and the sad thing is we didn't evacuate the building. we sat there while the incident was going on and the fire alarm went off.

Fifth, The Assistant Principal of instruction was hit with a tray during the C lunch food fight also causing food to be on her clothes. She changed clothes and returned to the next lunch which there was another food fight that took place during the pipes being burst and trash cans being set on fire. Mind you, everyone was still in the building while the trashcans were set on fire.

It's sad that my school is so corrupted this isn't even half of what goes on daily.

Atlanta Media Guy said...

Anon 12:46 - Thanks for the information. To the posters who think this whole thread should be shut down, we know who you are.

First of all, the talk on the blogs right now is the only source of information that we DeKalb residents and DCSS stakeholders have. In the absence of DCSS leadership and local media being silenced by them, for not giving any official comment, I have been begging for reasoned people to tell us exactly what happened on Thursday.

A simple two or three sentence statement by OUR new Super would have been sufficient on Thursday. However, it never came. Sure our leaders are still entwined in the FAMU/SWD Band issue, but to not say anything about a bunch of police responding to a food fight, fire and broken water pipes defies logic, in my opinion.

I've heard from leaders from two other schools and neither of them heard about the Arabia "food fight" and the resulting riot. Why not a warning to students and teachers atALL DCSS High Schools that this behavior would not be tolerated. The perps will clean it up and their parents/guardians WILL pay for any damage. Just those two things could have placed this story on the back burner forever.

Instead, in true DCSS fashion, we have no comment from the leaders, a media who is trying to catch up to the story and a feckless BOE, who most likely not do a thing and I fear that's where we are headed. Seems like nothing has changed with our new Super and her inner circle. Why? (rhetorical)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Student @ 12:46AM

Post anytime! Thank you for your observations and report.

I'm sure the majority of this blog's followers would in fact be outraged at the goings on at AMHS and the rest of the DCSS high schools as well on a day to day basis.

Stay low, keep your head down, study hard and GTHO with your self intact!

Keep on reporting! Maybe there's a career in it for you.

Anonymous said...

"Second, The wifi code is accesible to students. If you used your brain were in the woods with no network service delivered to our cell phones, so how would we be able to TWEET about the incidents happening. The whole student body including faculty and staff has the network code. "

That's a huge Internet Security issue. The very expensive web blocker system that the school system uses should be blocking them from Twitter. How did they get around that? The web blocker system routinely blocks teachers from educational sites while tech savvy kids can reach any site they want. This is well known to everyone in the schools. Does MIS have teacher representatives on their Internet Security team? MIS needs to be answering some questions about this.

Anonymous said...

You can access Twitter via your computer or via your cell phone.

Twitter may be blocked on school computers. Cell phones are not blocked, thus students have access to Twitter.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the poster that responded to my comment:

First, I am definitely NOT and in administration in DCSS on ANY level. I probably have most of the same concerns that you do about the administration in this county, as most people do all in ALL parts of this county. So don't pretend like you have a monopoly on that. My concern is first and foremost for these students. I detest knowing that anyone has financially profited off the backs of student's per pupil monies , title 1 funds or taxpayer dollars.

Discipline in the schools should certainly be addressed. Teachers should be supported in their efforts to enforce it. Students need and WANT to know that they are in a safe learning environment. Contrary to what many apparently think, students want to know that responsible people are in charge.

With all that being said, it has appeared to me from the tone of many of these post on this topic that the main concern about this incident was not really for well being of these students. Are students safe? Is their instruction be compromised? Do students know that those students who participated in the disruption will be held accountable? Those are MY concerns.

I have worked with students of all ages and backgrounds throughout my career and can say without reservation that even kids that are disruptive know that that kind of behavior should not be allowed to take place. I honestly believe that the majority of the students at AMHS want order in their school and a good education.
I sincerely hope that is the main focus of those posting here as well. However, I suspect that for some it is not.

Anonymous @ 8:43pm

Anonymous said...

Well, as a student of Arabia Mountain, I feel that this was going to happen sooner than later. We are all very stressed out students who just try to get our work turned in on time. When we had the first food fight in "C" lunch, the administrators should've expected other worst things to happen. Maybe if they would chill out for a moment, our school could get better. Im not saying we are a bad school, and i'm also not trying to say what we did was right or justify any of it. I'm just simply saying it was bound to happen. They should've seen it coming.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon Student,

What causes the rise in stress for the students?

Not being prepared for the tests or not knowing the curriculum?

Asking for study help and not getting it from the administration?

Issues with other students at the school?

Is bullying and hazing an issue on campus?

Please enlighten us on the perils of being a HS student at Arabia Mountain.

Please let us know all that bothers you! We are here to help.

Concerned DCSS Parent

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:12
"Twitter may be blocked on school computers. Cell phones are not blocked, thus students have access to Twitter."

Well, is that how they accessed Twitter - via cellphone or the Internet wirelessly. One poster said they were out of range for ATT, Verizon carrier service. Were their telephones running wireless on the DCSS network? That's pretty easy for MIS to figure out.

If the students were using the DCSS network, will MIS just vote to shut down all access to the virtual world for AMHS and the rest of the schools (easy for them)?

.....or will MIS get busy and do their homework to ensure students and teachers still have access to the websites that add to their educational experience while tightening up on the sites that students should not access (harder for them but a better outcome for students)?

Anonymous said...

my son says he was able to access the wireless code at every school he ever attended.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:02 pm

Of course the students need to be able to access the wireless network to reach educational websites, and they need a password to do this.

The problem is that they are supposed to be blocked from Twitter and other social networks via a service DCSS pays a substantial subscription for.

The irony is that the teachers are quite often blocked from bona fide educational websites by this service, while students just figure out a way to get around it to get to the sites that are off limits to them.

MIS needs to find someone in that department who can fix this. The teachers get upset - especially the young, tech savvy ones who are part of the digital generation themselves - because they plan to use a website and then it's blocked. Technology integration is a tool for them, and they can't understand why it's such a faulty tool in DCSS. The students tell each other how to circumvent the system, and they visit the sites they want. This has been happening for years.

The easiest thing for MIS is to press for even tighter controls on the Internet. This has been their natural inclination and progression. However, students continue to find a way around their solutions. Every year, it gets harder and harder for teachers to use technology with their students because that's who ends up bearing the brunt of the tightened controls.

Maybe MIS and Dr. Atkinson need to ask other systems how they handle the issue of Internet access and security for students. The "DeKalb Way" is not working for students or teachers.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:02 pm

Of course the students need to be able to access the wireless network to reach educational websites, and they need a password to do this.

The problem is that they are supposed to be blocked from Twitter and other social networks via a service DCSS pays a substantial subscription for.

The irony is that the teachers are quite often blocked from bona fide educational websites by this service, while students just figure out a way to get around it to get to the sites that are off limits to them.

MIS needs to find someone in that department who can fix this. The teachers get upset - especially the young, tech savvy ones who are part of the digital generation themselves - because they plan to use a website and then it's blocked. Technology integration is a tool for them, and they can't understand why it's such a faulty tool in DCSS. The students tell each other how to circumvent the system, and they visit the sites they want. This has been happening for years.

The easiest thing for MIS is to press for even tighter controls on the Internet. This has been their natural inclination and progression. However, students continue to find a way around their solutions. Every year, it gets harder and harder for teachers to use technology with their students because that's who ends up bearing the brunt of the tightened controls.

Maybe MIS and Dr. Atkinson need to ask other systems how they handle the issue of Internet access and security for students. The "DeKalb Way" is not working for students or teachers.

Anonymous said...

AMHS Student @ 2:26

Welcome! Speaking for myself only, I can not say I understand how you feel.

With that being said, it is fair to say you can not understand how I feel.

Fair enough??

OK, here's the deal and my frustration with a part of the AMHS "Incident."

I so expected better! With all pomp and circumstance associated with the opening and populating this school, the expecations were high! You all, ALL students there were expected to be the face of DeKalb County. You were going to be our success story. The model school for all others to aspire to.

Instead, these actions only went to demonstrate the school and the school populus are really in fact, nothing special. Same characters, different DCSS warehouse albeit a nice one and environmentally friendly.

I'm sure now some of the parents whose kids weren't the chosen ones and who were once angry about not winning the lottery, the ones who were qualified but not picked to take one of the AMHS coveted seats are now relieved they didn't win.

While it may be only a very small minority of the students who were responsible for this incident, this group has managed to reduce AMHS to the same lowest common denominator shared with the rest of the schools in the county.

Your school now will not be revered nor envied. Pitied is the word that comes to mind.

I'm sad for your loss, I'm sad for this county's continued loss(es).

Dekalbparent said...

I hope the students who posted here will continue to do so. I hope students from other high schools do so, as well. Yes, Grammar People, there will be errors, but for the love of Pete, does that mean they aren't entitled to post? I have seen consistent errors from regular (adult, I assume) poster here - we are not immune.

We say we want to hear from teachers, paras, and others who work in the schools about how it really is. Why are student points of view not legitimate? We say we want to hear from all parts of the county - I am really afraid some of the careless posts here have discouraged posters from coming back.

Generalizing about ANYBODY - students, teachers, African-Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, residents of North DeKalb, residents of South DeKalb, school administrators (that one was hard for me to write), bloggers, people who make grammatical or spelling errors, even kids who use offensive vernacular - ANYBODY, will cut the essential dialog we need to keep going here.

I am really sick of the counterproductive rhetoric, but I will keep coming.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone not figured out that the DCSS MIS Department is a fraud?

DCSS purchased computer security software years ago. The software is a tracking software to help recover STOLEN computers. The software company also had a money back guarantee, if the computers were stolen and could not be traced and retrieved then they would be replaced by the software company.

The sad story at the various schools who had computers stolen is the software was NEVER installed on the computers.

Sad but true!

Why do we need cell towers at schools again?

Anonymous said...

So did they get the 30 /so computers that were stolen from Chamblee paid for by this company or did they recover them from using the software?

Cerebration said...

Maureen Downey
December 19th, 2011
3:45 pm

To all,

AJC education writer Ernie Suggs is doing a news story on what happened at Arabia Mountain.

He says: I want to talk to a parent or a student who was at the school and witnessed the event. I can be reached at 404-526-5672 and

Thanks, Maureen

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:51

I have not heard that they recovered the computers from Chamblee. Did you?

My point is that the computers are gone, DCSS had / has security software and it was NEVER installed onto the computers.

Mr. Brantley, the new director of DCSS MIS, has made sure that ALL of DCSS computers have the software installed. It was done prior to Thanksgiving break, not prior to the thefts.

Let me know if you know something.

Cerebration said...

How ridiculous! We paid big bucks for software that was guaranteed to track stolen computers but no one installed the software so now, students and teachers just have to 'do without' the stolen computers?

Someone should be fired for that. For real.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, the AJC article is disappointing. Especially that it quotes Earnest Brown who downplayed the incident and compared it to Animal House.

Why were so many Dekalb Police cars sent to the school if this event was so minor?

I've been in schools when students played pranks, and local law enforcement was never called in like it was Arabia Mtn.

If the incident was minor, then DCSS must have way overreacted by calling in so many police.

On the other hand, I know from some experience with her that the new principal at Arabia Mtn makes poor decisions, using very poor judgment.

Did she overreact?

I think that DCSS is trying to protect the reputation of its showcase school and is intentionally downplaying this.

I might believe that it were not that big of deal, except for the large police presence there Thursday afternoon.

Despite Earnest Brown's rosy assessment, there are still some thorny questions.

Anonymous said...

Just read the tweets from Arabia Mt High at

I weep for the future.

Anonymous said...

“These things happen. Use this as a teaching opportunity for your children,” Brown said. “Have these people ever seen ‘Animal House'?”


Ten police cars taken off the street to respond to the Arabia incident, which included a fire.

Ernest Brown, please never run for the Board of Ed again. You continue to be an apologist for the system and the incompetence at the Central Office.

And your idiotic statement about Animal House?? Animal House was a R-rated movie that took place at a college; it's not anywhere near acceptable behavior for a high school. You've lost any respect I had for you previously.

P.S. Funny to see Walter Woods dismiss the "blogs" for overreacting:

"Walter Woods, a spokesman for the district, said the incident, while not as serious as blogs and social media sites would suggest, has placed discipline atop the system’s priority list."

Anonymous said...

Ernest works harder than Walter Woods, and for half the pay!

Anonymous said...

The scary part about what happened at Arabia is that the building was not evacuated when the fire alarm went off. You always evacuate a building when the alarm goes off because you don't know if you have a problem until you walk the building. Safety first. You don't take chances with people's lives.

I worked in a school (not in DeKalb) where a student set fire to a teacher's desk during class change. A quick-thinking teacher put it out with a fire extinguisher, but every student waited outside while the fire department made sure the fire was out and the building was safe.

Ivy League Scholar said...

As an Arabia Mountain graduate this is bad press but who cares in the end. Students will continue to graduate get more money & opportunities than the other DeKalb County students & all the parents of students WHO didn't graduate or attend Arabia will continue living pressed & obsessed live because their child didn't make the cut. Oh.

Anonymous said...

ILS @9:08

So you won the lottery to attend AMHS. BFD!

Occupied a seat out of luck but what did you really learn.

I hope the Ivy League school you are rubbing in everyone's face
humbles you and teaches you some humility.

Get back to us when you fill out your taxes a few years from now.

I'm sure AMHS would be proud to have you come back to homecoming so you can tell them just how great and deserving they are. Oh and don't forget to tell them their excrement smells like roses too!


Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:24

I think Ivy League Scholar was making a facetious comment.

Anonymous said...

In DeKalb County we LACK the following:

1 – A responsible BOE.
2 - A superintendent seasoned in her position and well in control.
3 - An administration that has proven itself to be truly concerned with student performance, advancement, and perceptive enough to guide derailed students back on track.
4 – An educational system capable of address disciplinary issues in a way that students and their parents understand the consequences of their actions with no questionable doubt.

I appreciate Mr. Brown coming forward to express his thoughts; however, his apparent downplay of the Thursday events at Arabia Mountain really concern me. On many levels, this was a serious disruption of an educational facility that is inexcusable, and the downplay shows a willingness in our society to accept what was once considered unacceptable.

Animal House was a very entertaining movie based in a college setting. However, it was not something I would ever expect to see actually occur, much less in a high school in DeKalb County. To intimate that this kind of activity is acceptable shows a serious lack of parental concern. Mr. Brown once ran for a BOE position? Note to self, Mr. Brown is an idiot and should be discounted should he run for BOE in the future.

We have a ThugCulture in this country. Read the newspaper and watch any one of the local TV stations in this city and you will see the results of rebellious, unconcerned, and uneducated people in our midst. This anti-social behavior starts somewhere. Typically, home first, then graduating to public schools, and ultimately festering itself in public.

Citizens will try their best to address this problem. The ThugCulture (parents and their spawn) will laugh and go on their way. I will help those that I can, but to those that scoff me and then as Thugs try to harm me or my family I am ready for you. I am licensed, carry, educated, cocked, and loaded. When you cross the line to the ThugCulture, do not tread on me as I do not want to play and I am ready for you if you force yourself on me.

Anonymous said...

Earnest Brown is a bonafide trouble maker. He is trying to be heard and noticed for a position on the BOE. He harasses teachers when his kids do not make passing grades.
This man and his wife are dangerous and loves to gossip. He really loves attention and if there is a camera, watch out, he will be the first person in line.
All he is trying to do is, line himself up for a position. These kids on the blog are being pushed up by him. Some are probally written by Earnest under the surmise of a kid. People, ask the teachers at AMHS, this man is trouble. Donot by into his hype!

Anonymous said...

Ernest, read the tweets, each and every one of them, profanity and all:

This was planned, and it took 10 police cars to respond to it. A fire in a school, any kind of fire, can cause a tragedy.

Shame on you for condoning this event. Please do not run for the Board of Education.

Anonymous said...

Support Fran and the others. The existing provisions for amending the state constitution and charter laws can be used to set us free. Let south DeKalb run itself, with its money. Just leave us and our money alone.

Cerebration said...

I like Ernest Brown. I disagree with his perspective on this issue though. He should be standing with the principal informing students of their punishments and restating the house rules. These kinds of public statements by a parent only serve to undermine the principal's power and respect for discipline. A better response would have been: Prepare to take your lumps, kids!

It's easy to state that you are all for discipline and control over student behaviors in order to maintain a healthy learning environment - when it's not your school or your kids. What I'm disappointed to see is the minimizing of this outrageous behavior (the DeKalb police apparently took it seriously) - simply because it involves his own children's school. I wonder if he would have made any kind of comment like those he did had it been an event at MLK or Lakeside.

Animal House? Really? Personally, I was never a John Belushi fan. That guy was a disaster. And we all know what happened to him.

Anonymous said...

The AJC and DCSS are lucky! The AJC asked for statements from parents and look who they got! Earnest Brown! DCSS Parent and Cheerleader and lay Spokesperson!

(Think that the AJC ignored the negative and perhaps more realistic accounts?)

LaLaMeeka Chadwalli said...

The AJC reported on this item today. Wow. Someone needs to send the AJC the following book “Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists". What happened to "Who, what, when, where, why, and how"? Who called 911? What was said to the 911 operator? How many police cars responded? What did the police have to say about this incident? What does the police report say? Who was tasered? Why was the student tasered? If someone is tasered there has to be a report about it? Right? How did the school respond to the many concerned parents? The AJC uses anonymous sources (superintendent search lest we forget) so why not have some of those sources comment, maybe a teacher or two? Mr Editor your paper can do better than this.

Anonymous said...

This kind of behavior is typical of Earnest Brown. He likes chaos and really wants to be on the Board of Education. Teachers in the county cannot stand to see him coming. He is trouble and started these kids posting these comments. Trust me, he is enjoying these comments and even putting most of the comments on here himself posing as a student at Arabia. This man is something else!

Cerebration said...

This isn't a 'bash Ernest Brown' thread. I posted the link to contact the reporter - you ALL were free to do so.

In addition to my opinion on Ernest's very accepting attitude about this behavior, I must also say that I am quite disappointed in those who would lump all Arabia students together - and worse, refer to them as 'thugs'. That's not nice speak - and it's certainly not truthful.

Kindness is appreciated. Level-headed input as to punishments and response to behavior is fine. But the generalizations and name-calling needs to stop. Please.

Anon said...

I think very few people are willing to go on the record, so those who are get their version told. I also think a great many Arabia Mt. parents, especially those who came up through the Theme Schools, want to protect the school's image at all costs. They just want this to go away.

Cerebration said...

Lakeside would be the same way if it had happened there. Nobody wants bad press. We were just very concerned because the police reaction was pretty strong and we heard stories of floods and a fire. It was obviously, in hindsight, not life-threatening. I am very disappointed in the raunchy tweets from kids though.

Anonymous said...

This is why kids should not have full access to social networking and cell phones.

Cerebration said...

I think people are more critical of Arabia since Arabia has been held out to be more 'elite' since its inception. They make students write an essay, have a certain GPA etc, to apply. Then they must wear uniforms as if they are an elite private school. Etc, etc. All this was done AFTER Arabia was pitched as a school that was needed to alleviate over-crowding in the area. When it turned out so nice, Dr. Lewis and others got together and decided to make it a "Choice" or what some call a "Boutique" school.

When you present yourself as somehow 'better' than others, then when something goes wrong, the criticisms tend to be more intense. Seems Arabia students are really no different than anyone else when it comes right down to it after all.

Anonymous said...

I find it necessary to say to all of you who continually make excuses for the unacceptable behavior of our youth: you created the problem! As a middle school teacher for the past twenty-four years, I witness everyday the result of the entitlement mindset. Some of my students are shocked by the fact that I expect them to actually earn their grades. They've been "given" for so long that they no longer see a need to work for anything. It's a tragedy, really, because life it not going to be kind to them when they leave school. Someone, somewhere, is going to have to man up and speak the truth loud and clear, or we are all in big trouble.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:48 I agree, but the more that I see from the government, the more I believe that this is exactly what those in and with power want. I've spoken up in faculty meetings and was smashed and made to look like the crazy.

The parents and citizens have to demand a change, as those in power don't want anything to change. The reactions when Bill Cosby spoke out was all the proof that I needed to know that change would not come easy and it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Anonymous said...

Now I know Arabia is supposed to be the model school, but come on now. I know that worst has happened at many different schools in Dekalb. How do I know this you may ask? Well I've been there when worst has happened. The only reason why people are making such a big deal out of this. If this had happened at a school like Towers or Lithonia it would be ignored because its what people already personify them as.

Arabia students, teachers, and faculty are put under a microscope and scrutinized for the most pointless things. The students at the school were stressed, frustrated, and kept all of this frustration and angst bottled up and it was bound to come out at one point. No one thinks about the pressure that they are under, everyone thinks that "oh they are just high school students, what could they be stressed about" well you would really be surprised.

Why is it that we only make a big deal of the negative things, I haven't heard any comments about how Arabia has one of the highest pass rates for the graduation test (All Subjects) in the county. How they have had their robotics team make it to Worlds (Not nationals people...WORLDS). Had students participate in the LEAF program. Had a student WIN the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Has the first African American TSA State President. How some of these students that are so called "turnt' up" have endured through some of the most rigorous curriculum that most DCSS students were too cowardly to step up to the plate and dominate. SO I applaud these students, not because I agree with their actions that happened on that Thursday, but because I know how truly wonderful all of these students are and how THESE very same students are going to grow up into outstanding citizens, and even our leaders. So they had an off day; everyone does, but does everyone Else's get put on blast in front of the community? . . . yeah I didn't think so.

an Arabia Mountain Student (A.T.T)