MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An alleged gang initiation at a local high school left one teen hospitalized and another suspended for the rest of the year.
Just a few days into the school year, students say a local gang set up shop outside of Overton High School. Students say some of the members attend the school, and all of them have bad intentions.
They allegedly targeted two young students last week, which led to a vicious assault. The attack left Levester McClain hospitalized with numerous injuries, including a broken jaw.
"They tried to, it just brings me to tears. They weren't going with what they said, so they decided to beat them up," McClain's grandmother, Ruthie Tuggle, said.
"It makes me sad. I hate that I'm a Memphian, really. I've been in Memphis all my life. I went to the Army from there, and for them to just sweep this under the rug like that, it's sad man," McClain's father, Levester McClain Sr., said.
McClain is recovering and will continue school in Texas.
"He's made his mind up. He said Memphis is getting out of hand. He's scared to death," Tuggle said.
Mardraco Isom, who says he tried to help McClain, has been suspended for a year for his role in the fight. His family says they're unsure what the future holds now that he's been suspended.
"He was defending himself. Twenty people were on top of him, so why is he getting suspended?" Isom's father, Rick Chiles, said.
After classes let out at Overton High on Monday, we noticed a group of what appeared to be students hanging around unsupervised. We witnessed some students throwing what appeared to be gang signs and flashing money. All of this happened as law enforcement sat nearby.
Shelby County Schools released a statement saying:
"We are aware of an off-campus fight involving several Overton High School students that occurred about a half hour after dismissal last Thursday. The matter has been investigated, and the students involved were disciplined in accordance with Board policy. There is no evidence that this incident was gang-related; however, in response to parent concerns, the school is working proactively with the District’s Safety & Security team to conduct gang prevention awareness for students."