After a fistfight led to gunshots between two parents outside Highland High School this week, there’s new attention on who isn’t allowed to be on school campuses.
Albuquerque Public Schools has a list of people, including a lot of parents that aren’t allowed at certain schools.
APS says the district doesn’t do it often, but they do have a process to ban parents when behavior crosses the line. KRQE News 13 asked how many people are on that list and why.
“My kid shouldn’t be getting out of school and noticing two adults fighting,” said Monika White, a parent of students attending a school near Highland High.
The fight and shooting outside the high school Wednesday still has parents talking days later.
“Especially the parents getting involved? When you get parents like that, that get involved, it’s like opening a door and saying OK, it’s OK to do that for kids… and it’s not,” said Abram Fores, a grandparent with grandkids attending an APS school.
Albuquerque Police hasn’t said what the fight was over, but the department says it will charge the dads who are accused of brawling, Juan Saucedo and Alex Placencio, with felony “public affray” charges.
“Very disturbing to see that parents would conduct themselves that way in front of a public school,” said Margaret Garcia, a parent who was picking up kids from an APS school on Friday.
The Highland High fight has raised questions over the process in which APS keeps bad behaving parents off school campuses. The district as a policy outlined that it’s used for more than a decade.
“It really has be cases that are you know very severe,” said Shelly Green, Executive Director of the APS Service Center.
APS both warns and bans parents who caused problems at schools. An outright ban isn’t too common, according to Green. In the 2017-18 school year, the district has banned 21 people, including parents from various school campuses.
“It is kind of a last resort, we really try to work with parents in all situations,” said Green.
The district says it often bans parents for repeat or egregious behavior. Examples include bringing a weapon to campus, threatening kids, encouraging or taking part in fighting, or parents who confront students who aren’t their own, over problems they should let the school deal with it.
Two specific school banning cases have been in Albuquerque news since 2015. APS confirmed with KRQE News 13 that parent Nicole Morlan was banned from Taft Middle School in 2015 following a fight recorded on cell phone video in front of the school.
APS also confirmed with KRQE News 13 that the husband and wife involved in the fight at Highland High School were banned from Zuni Elementary in 2015, after a fight inside the school building.
APS hasn’t decided yet how they’ll address the parents involved in the fight at Highland High School this week, but they direction will come from the school’s administration.
Some parents encourage the district act on situations like the one at Highland High.
“Whatever they have to do to not have this happen with the kids around for sure,” said White.
APS says any ban they issue to parents only lasts through the remainder of the school year. Any ban the district puts in place usually has the school principal’s input, but ultimately must be approved by an associate superintendent with the district.