Fear of Turf Wars after Carver Student Attacked by Rival School

Fear of Turf Wars after Carver Student Attacked by Rival School

A Carver High School student was beaten up by a group of Booker T. Washington High School students as he walked home. Carver students say this is why the two schools cannot merge.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Turf wars just got real. A Carver High School student was beaten up by a group of Booker T. Washington High School students as he walked home. He had to go to the hospital and get stitches over the weekend.

Carver students say this is why the two schools cannot merge. The Unified School Board wants to close Carver and merge its students with BTW to save money. Carver students are hoping to get school board members’ attention before anyone else gets hurt, or even killed.

The Carver student didn't make a police report because he says this is how it's done in south Memphis, "fight for yourself." He didn't want to talk with us on camera for fear of retaliation, but says things will get much worse if the two schools merge.

"It's basically turf wars and that's what we've been trying to get everybody to understand,” said the Chairman of the Carver Senior Class Advisory Board, Romero Malone.

Malone wants Unified School Board members to realize the consequences of merging with Booker T. Washington. He says his classmate was beaten up over the weekend by the rival school just for walking in the area.

"It was some students from BTW that jumped one of our students,” said Malone. “Like I said it's not your ordinary rivalry. This is not the first time. There have been killings within the community which is the reason why we're not trying to get them to merge."

Sadly, people who live in south Memphis say this is the way of life. Malone's classmate didn't want to appear on camera for fears of what else could happen. Instead he let his frustration out on Facebook.

"The reality of living in an urban area that is the poorest city in the United States of America, the reality is gang culture. That is the reality,” said Unified School Board member Kenneth Whalum, Jr.

Whalum never wanted to close Carver High School. The majority of the board does and a dozen schools are on the chopping block.

"I'm working on a resolution now, another desperate measure on my part to try to bring some common sense, man,” said Whalum. "So rather than close our eyes and turn our heads and act as though it's so pitiful, it's so shameful, let's try to love these children rather than ignore them and force them into a culture circumstance that are really going to, basically, end up choking the life out of them."

Whalum says the schools facing closures will remain open for at least one more year. The Unified School Board still has to make a final vote to close or keep the schools open.
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