Parents outraged daughter taken to DJJ after fight in school - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Parents concerned daughter taken to DJJ after fight in school

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Sheriff's deputies were clearly on the job at Fairfield Middle School Friday afternoon.

They were there to maintain order a day after a classroom fight that led to overnight stays for two female students at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

One of them is the daughter of Elenna and Ricardo Gladney.

Akeyva Gladney got into a scuffle with one of her classmates Thursday afternoon.

"She was like 'Akeyva sit down somewhere,' and so that's when she was like 'Akeyva, you want to fight, we can fight right now,'" says Akeyva Gladney. "And so that's when I was about to sit down and she came to hit me in my head and that's started to fighting."

The Gladneys say Akeyva was defending herself after being struck by her classmate.

"She's a minor," says Elenna Gladney. "I mean, it seems like they don't inform the parents or nothing at all. And it hurt me real bad to see my daughter go to jail."

While neither of the girls suffered significant injuries, the Gladneys say Akeyva may have been hurt more by what they say was an over-reaction by school officials.

"I mean she didn't use no weapon," says her mother. "She wasn't a threat to the principal or nothing of that. Nothing of that. Nothing of that at all. None of that."

"I was like, 'You're not the judge. You can't determine whether my child goes to DJJ or not,'" says Ricardo Gladney. "He was telling me if I did anything to try and stop it, he was going to use force against me. Really it was a lose-lose situation."

First the school district suspended the students for three days. Then administrators  stood by as the Fairfield County Sheriff's Department put the girls in plastic handcuffs and hauled them off to D-J-J.

An incident report says the students had been warned on Wednesday about fighting.

A spokesman says  the department's resource officer believed the conflict had been brewing for some time and the girls were aware they could face serious consequences.

Fairfield Deputy Superintendent Dr. Claudia Edwards declined comment on camera and in fact, asked us to leave when we showed up at district headquarters. She said she'd issue a written statement later in the day.

Late Friday afternoon, the district's superintendent told WIS he supports and trusts any decision made by the school resource officer to take the girls into custody.

Akeyva and her classmate are due back in school next Wednesday.

The sheriff's department says if they avoid further trouble their records will be expunged.

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