By Jennifer Lindgren


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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Leaders in the Dallas Independent School District are taking steps to control what one school board trustee has called “total chaos” at a south Dallas campus. Extra security has been patrolling Dade Middle School this week after police used pepper spray to stop a fight on Monday.

Officers stated that as many as 60 students were watching or participating in that fight, and it has marked the breaking point for some parents over challenges that the school is facing.

Teacher turnover is frequent at the campus of about 700 students. The school district has had to find four principals in just one year.

While interviewing adults outside of the school on Tuesday afternoon, CBS 11 News saw students waving from windows and making crude gestures from the classrooms.

Lashundra Meadows said that her 14-year-old daughter was attacked by a group of female students on Monday. She is ready to pull her child out of the school. “I want my child out of this school. I do not feel comfortable going to work and knowing that my child is not being protected,” Meadows said. “She can’t even get her education.”

DISD trustee Bernadette Nuttall said that the primary dysfunction is that adults are missing in action. “They don’t have substitutes. They don’t have teachers. They don’t have highly qualified teachers,” said Nutall. “So, they’re leaving.”

Superintendent Mike Miles chatted with eighth-graders at Dade Middle School on Tuesday, and will hold a community meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday night to address safety and teacher concerns. Miles does not deny that academics and discipline are challenges at the campus, and is working on ways to fix the problems.

Jennifer Lindgren