SAN DIEGO – Parents and teachers will hold a protest Wednesday morning against the police union’s response to the return of a Lincoln High School student who was arrested in February in connection with a campus brawl.
On Feb. 26, a fight broke out during the lunch period at Lincoln High. A school resource officer who attempted to break up the fight was taken to the hospital with a head injury and four students were also taken for treatment for being pepper sprayed.
A portion of the incident was captured by students on cell phone video.
Two teenagers were later taken into custody. One of those students, Jesse Duncan, was allowed to return to the school Monday.
In May, Duncan pleaded guilty in San Diego Juvenile Court to one count of assaulting an officer. Three other counts against him were dropped. He was sentenced in June, but the terms of his sentenced were not released because he is a juvenile. San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Minaz Bhayani told 10News Wednesday the case was sealed by a judge and ruled confidential.
Over the weekend, the San Diego Schools Police Officers Association issued a statement condemning the San Diego Unified School District’s decision to allow Duncan to return to Lincoln High. The union claims it agreed to transfer the involved officer if the students involved in the fight wouldn't be allowed to return to Lincoln. The union believes the school district went back on its word.
"When the SDSPOA was informed late last week that the student, who injured a school police officer, would return to Lincoln High School, we were caught off guard and utterly disappointed,” the union wrote. “The disappointment stems from SDUSD turning their back on the students of Lincoln High School.”
Several parents and teachers were upset with the union’s response, saying it was wrong to criticize the district. The Lincoln High Parent Teacher Organization issued a statement overnight Tuesday.
The statement included a quote from an unnamed student that read, “The San Diego School Police Officers Association delivered a fake apology to student leaders here at Lincoln High, saying we had been slapped in the face by our school district. In reality, that very real slap in the face was coming to our first day of a new school year and being confronted by the SDSPOA statement and the media coverage of it.”
"I am frustrated and confused why the San Diego School Police Officer Association decided to host a press conference in regards to an isolated incident that occurred 7 months ago on the first day of school,” PTO president Cindy Barros wrote. “Clearly San Diego School Police Association President Jesus Montano does not have the students' best interest in mind.”
The protest began at 7 a.m. outside the high school.