Parents voice deep concern after gang incident at Katy ISD junior high school

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Katy ISD says a voluntary bathroom beating inside a junior high school was gang related, and parents are upset the district took several days to notify them. (KTRK)

Two students were arrested at McDonald Jr. High School Tuesday in relation to what Katy ISD calls a "gang-related activity" at the school last week. One of those students is charged with assaulting a teacher, and the other allegedly made a threat against a school district employee.

We spoke with some parents who want to know what gang these guys are involved in and if they're alone. A district spokesperson says they believe this was an isolated incident.

"I was disappointed to find out a week after it happened," says Michelle Roberts.

A student allegedly went into a boys' bathroom at T.H. McDonald Jr. High School voluntarily to be assaulted by nine other students. Katy ISD calls it a gang-related activity. It happened on September 21. The district notified parents on September 28.

Parents are upset. Michelle Roberts is one of them.

"I was concerned enough to even consider moving because I'm here and I love this community because things like that really don't happen. So yeah, I've been really uneasy since I found out about it," Robers said.

"My wife and I had talked a little bit about maybe home-schooling him or something if this persists," shares Paul Shell. "I can't afford to send him to a private school, so this is it."

The district says in connection with that fight, two students were arrested on campus Tuesday. One was involved in a physical altercation with a teacher on the day of the fight, and the teacher pressed charges. The other student allegedly threatened a district employee the day after.

"It's scary. It's scary that these kids are capable of that sort of behavior on the school grounds," says one mom, who asked not to be identified.

She says her son has talked about gangs with her before, but luckily has never been recruited.

"He's told me there are several kids involved in gangs. He's pointed them out to me and I'm aware of which kids are. But those kids make those types of choices. The school can't do everything," she said.

But Roberts says they can be more transparent so parents can be armed with information.

"I would want to know what gang it is, their activity, what they're doing. I'm the type of parent that I'd research what's going on, what to look out for, and really make some educated decisions as far as what we're going to do, a plan of action going forward, how he can protect himself," she said.

We asked the district how many students at McDonald are a part of this particular gang. A Katy ISD spokesperson says, "There are no other students at that Junior High who are suspected at this time. However, the investigation is still continuing."

That district spokesperson says the Katy ISD police department has identified a minimal number of individuals who are members in the region, though none are known to be prevalent at McDonald Jr. High or any other Katy ISD school.

The district also says they have no way of confirming how many students are believed to be involved in gangs in the district.
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