Lockdown at Athens High School lifted after parent altercation

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ATHENS, Ala. – Athens police responded to Athens High School and the school was locked down after a “parent-initiated altercation” that ended with a parent arrested and several videos posted online of what appeared to be students in conflict with police officers.

A parent who disagreed with punishment handed down for their child was arrested at the school, Athens City Schools Superintendent Trey Holladay said.

A student’s mother was meeting with the principal while the father “decides to trespass into an area in the school where they’re not allowed to go,” Holladay said Wednesday afternoon.

“The sad part is as the principal was meeting with one parent to resolve it — and they were resolving it — the other parent decided to make a pretty good scene,” Holladay said.

Athens police remained at the school for the rest of the day.

Holladay said five students were disciplined Tuesday at the school for a “class disruption,” and four of the students had parents who were going through the school’s grievance process. Some of those cases had already reached a resolution that ended with the parents and students happy, Holladay said.

Some of the students disciplined Tuesday “became part of today’s incident,” Holladay said.

Holladay said the district was aware of inappropriate remarks about the incident made by other students on social media, and those students would be dealt with.

“We know it happened during the school day and it was students involved,” Holladay said. “We’re just not going to let any of our students be mistreated.”

Holladay said he saw some video online of the incident and that what he saw didn’t tell the whole story, but instead showed what happened after the parent trespassed and started trying to incite the students.

“We’ve got this big group of people, they watch TV and see these things happen from time to time and one or two of them decided to be a part of the problem that went on,” Holladay said.

Holladay said he wasn’t aware of any students being knocked unconscious or injured during the altercation.

Athens police did not give any information about arrests related to Wednesday’s incident but said they are still investigating.

“We will take as long as needed to gather all information available from statements to video so that we can make an informed determination as to the sequence of events,” Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said in a statement.

Anyone who saw the altercation but has not talked to a police officer can contact the Athens Police Department at 256-233-8700, Johnson said.