Parents: Student pistol-whipped, told not to call police at high school in New Orleans

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New Orleans police confirmed Tuesday that they responded to McDonogh 35 school in Gentilly Tuesday to investigate a call that a student had been pistol-whipped.

The mother of the student who was attacked said that the school never sent out an alert to parents about the gun on campus or the assault.

She said she found out when her son and other students called her frantically, telling her to get to McDonogh 35.

“He said mom get to 35. Then another student called and said get here, your son got hit in the head with a gun,” said Anchell Lee.

According to New Orleans police, a 15-year-old boy who does not attend McDonogh 35 came to the school at 3:30 p.m.,

Tuesday, as students were being released.

Investigators said the teen approached a 15-year-old student, and the two got into a fight.

Police said the teenager hit the student in the head with a gun, prompting another student to try to stop the fight.

At that point, police said the teen pointed the gun at the second student ordering her away.

Police said the teenager with the gun then ran away from the school.

Anchell Lee said the school did not implement practiced protocols during the assault, and she doesn’t know how someone not in a school uniform was allowed onto school grounds.

“Nobody saw him with a gun,” Lee asked. “Y’all have security standing there with two guns on, so nobody didn’t come and defend these kids? They’re fighting (for) over four minutes.

What if somebody would’ve called me and said he got shot? Then what?”

Bretshanda Lee said her daughter was the student who jumped in to try to break up the fight.

She said the boy who was pistol-whipped is her nephew.

She said the students told her that the school tried to cover up the fight.

“I’m just hurt,” Bretshanda Lee said. “All the kids (were) out there crying yesterday.

You (are) going to take my child’s phone and say don’t call her parent?”

Anchell Lee said she was told the same thing. 

“The principal, the disciplinarian and the dean of the school were trying to take their phones and telling them don’t call their moms, don’t call the police because ‘It’s going to get bad.'”

The Orleans Parish School Board declined to make the principal available for an interview or respond to those accusations, but they did send the following statement:

“On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, after school hours, an unfortunate incident occurred between a young person who does not attend McDonogh 35 and a McDonogh 35 student.

A school employee intervened immediately to stop the altercation and the school administration contacted the NOPD for assistance.

Police are investigating the incident and have issued a warrant for the arrest of the young person that does not attend McDonogh 35.

“OPSB’s number one priority is to keep students safe.

OPSB is monitoring the situation and will continue to work with the NOPD, students, and families involved.”

Anchell Lee said her son was treated at a hospital and released.

She said he will not return to McDonogh 35 because he fears for his life.

“He can’t sleep,” Anchell said. “He hasn’t been to sleep yet. He keeps popping up, ‘Mom look out the window, look.’ I’m like, ‘Son we are all right. We are all right.”

New Orleans police said they have identified the teen with the gun and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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