Teen brawl spurs meeting on violence 6:30 session planned at Douglass tonight

September 22, 1993|By Gary Gately | Gary Gately,Staff Writer

Alarmed by last week's brawl in a mall parking lot across from Frederick Douglass High School, parents, teachers, lawmakers, police, clergy and merchants will meet tonight to try to keep the violence from spilling over into the school.

Principal Shirley T. Hill sent a letter last Wednesday to parents of the estimated 1,300 students urging them to attend the emergency meeting at 6:30 p.m in the school auditorium.

Across the street from Douglass after school ended eight days ago, about 300 teen-agers battled in a Mondawmin Mall parking lot with weapons including 5-foot-long steel poles and slabs of wood.

The arrest Monday of a 19-year-old Douglass student on handgun possession charges also has heightened anxiety among parents and students.

Termaine Conyers of the 2100 block of Braddish Ave. was arrested about 1:20 p.m. in the cafeteria after an officer saw him shove something into his pants, school police said. Police reported seizing from him a small amount of marijuana and a Glock 9 mm handgun, loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition.

Shortly before the arrest, Mr. Conyers had been called to the principal's office to explain why he repeatedly missed classes. He received a disciplinary removal, meaning he must leave the school and could not be readmitted until a parent conferred with school officials, said Officer Richard Damon.

Mr. Conyers then told police he wanted to go to the cafeteria to get his cap from a friend, police said. An officer searched Mr. Conyers after spotting him shoving suspected illegal drugs into his pants, police said.

Mr. Conyers also was automatically expelled from school for handgun possession.

The arrest marks the sixth incident involving handguns in city schools since the beginning of the school year Sept. 1, said Bernard Stokes Jr., school police chief.

Last week, more than 100 officers from the city, school, Mass Transit Administration and mall police forces rushed to the brawl, where witnesses reported some youngsters covered with blood, bruises and makeshift bandages. City police reported no gunfire but arrested four juveniles on handgun-possession charges.

Police and school officials said few of those involved were students at Douglass and that the school at 2301 Gwynns Falls Parkway has been spared the violence that plagues the surrounding neighborhoods.

Since the brawl, two students have received disciplinary removals for their involvement in the brawl.

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