Saying that he was “absolutely appalled” by Friday’s report of a mass fight at Burger King at 1920 E. 42nd St., Superintendent Scott Muri issued an apology to the restaurant staff, customers and those outside who witnessed the event.
In a Zoom call Friday evening, Muri said he became aware of the incident late Friday morning involving ECISD students.
The incident, which resulted in the arrest of two juveniles, occurred at 8:55 a.m. The Odessa Police Department said in a text that the investigation is ongoing.
“… After learning of the incident and the details of that incident, I was absolutely appalled at the behavior of the students that were involved in that particular incident so I’d certainly like to issue an apology to the staff, the customers of Burger King and those outside the area that witnessed the event,” Muri said.
“That type of behavior is completely unacceptable. We do not tolerate that on any of our campuses and nor should we tolerate that in our community. I can assure you that we as a school system, our teachers, our staff members, our members of law enforcement will work diligently to ensure that each of the students involved in this incident today are provided the appropriate level of consequences for the school,” Muri said. “Then we are also talking with law enforcement — ECISD police as well as the Odessa Police Department to ensure that legal consequences are also provided to those students.”
It is still unknown how many students were involved or what charges have been brought against the two that were arrested.
Muri stressed that Friday’s incident is only representative of a small group of students among the district’s 32,000 students.
“… This type of behavior is not accepted, and typically is not displayed. Our students are incredible individuals, they come to school every day ready to learn, eager to learn, excited to engage in the learning opportunities that we provide for them. … This type of behavior simply is unacceptable and not reflective of what we expect, nor typically see in and among students of ECISD. So once again, our apologies to the staff and community that witnessed this incident today. We will do better as a school system. We will work with our parents and families to ensure that the behavior of our children, not only on school property, but off school property is … (what) we would expect that is demonstrative of a citizen living within our community.”
Asked if it was related to bullying behavior, Muri said he doesn’t have enough detail as to what started it or specifically what led to it. He said this will be learned over the next several days. What is learned will determine what kind of consequences the students will face, he said.
“We do not have a number of students that were involved. We are working with Burger King. They obviously have video capture material and our police department, as well as the Odessa Police Department will be using that information to help piece together this incident to make sure that we can provide appropriate consequences for students involved, but I do not have a number of students at this time,” Muri said.
He said the school administration started their investigation Friday, as did the OPD and ECISD police.
“I’m, again, not certain as to how many students have been interviewed. I do know that those interviews will continue once we return from the holiday break.”
“Some of the students were Permian High School students,” Muri said.
However, he doesn’t know how many and he said he doesn’t know of any injuries at this time.
In preventing future incidents, Muri said ECISD as a system can help ensure that students are good citizens, talk to them about the treatment of others, “the kindness that we should all offer each other.”
“… We do that in partnership with our families, so I encourage moms and dads to engage in conversations with their children tonight. Anytime a child leaves home, or anytime our kids leave school we want to arm them with some words of wisdom that can ensure that their behavior is representative and reflective of, in our case, the school system, or reflective of the family unit. I think we, as far as prevention is concerned, must do this together. … By working together, these types of incidents can certainly be prevented in the future. It’s going to require all of us working together.”
The amount of discipline issued is going to depend on the specific offense.
“As our administrators investigate, they will look at individual students to determine their level of involvement in today’s incident and if their level of involvement requires some form of consequence then we will certainly administer those,” Muri said. “So there could be a wide range of consequences, again, depending on the behaviors that the students displayed …”
Muri added that most students came to school Friday and had a great day of learning.
“… That is the expectation that we have of our students every day. That is the expectation that most of our students have when they enter our buildings. They come wanting to learn and it is also the expectation our parents have for their children, so again, today’s behavior is not in any way reflective of the vast majority, ninety-nine percent of students that enter our buildings every day and we will continue to partner with our community to ensure that these types of things do not occur ever again within the city of Odessa and Ector County,” Muri said.