St. John Sheriff frustrated with youth violence in schools: ‘You tell me what we can do better’


RESERVE, La. — St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre is frustrated at all of the fights on East St. John High’s campus since the start of the school year. He’s pleading for parents and the community to help him figure out how to get students to stop the violence.

Tregre held a news conference Tuesday after a Snapchat video began circulating showing one of his deputies dragging a student out of a cafeteria after a fight. 

The Snapchat now has 20,000+ views on social media. It shows Deputy Larry Williams forcefully remove a student who was in a fight. Tregre defended Williams today explaining that at some point, you have to go hands on to stop the violence in schools. 

RELATED: Sheriff defends officer after viral video of him dragging student from school

According to Tregre, there have already been 30 fights at East St. John High School this school year. The school district denies there have been that many fights. 

“We’re in September. That’s been since last month at East St. John High School,” he said. 

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He released new video Tuesday that he believes validates Williams use of force on the student. 

The incident happened September 6. You can see two female students start to fight, beating each other to the ground. Teachers are seen in the video breaking them up, including the high school principal. The principal pulls one of the girls away and hands her off to Williams. That’s when the Snapchat video starts. 

The student identified herself as 16-year-old Modisty Reynolds. 

She spoke with WWL-TV Monday and said, “I was terrified because he choked me and I told him I couldn’t breathe.”

Her mother filed a complaint against Williams for forcefully removing her from the cafeteria. Sheriff Tregue defended his deputy at a news conference Tuesday

“We have to demand they stop fighting or at some point we have to go hands on and sometimes we can escort someone, but sometimes you have to forcefully remove someone from a disturbance. That’s what happened in this case,” Tregre said defending Williams. 

Reynolds is seen in the booking video hugging Williams. That’s when she said, “I’m really truly sorry.”

Tregre is frustrated by the violence in schools. He wants something done to stop youth violence.

“He can’t go up to those fighting students and say ‘excuse me y’all shouldn’t be doing that, you need to stop.’ That’s not working these day,” Tregre said. 

He’s begging parents and the community to help.

“You tell me what we can do better or differently and I’m glad to listen,” Tregre said. 

Williams will go before the disciplinary board. As of now, he’s still at the school.

“Would you want me to pull him out based on what you just saw?” Tregre said. 

St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District released the following statement Tuesday evening:

“St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools and the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office are working toward the same goal: keeping our community and our schools safe. The superintendent, the sheriff and both agencies’ staff members are in constant contact in order to achieve this. Our on-duty teacher quickly intervened during this incident and staff members then appropriately turned the student over to the resource officer.

Our records show that there have been far fewer than 30 physical altercations on the East St. John High School campus this year. Regardless, even one incident is too many and we have recently moved to a zero tolerance policy on all of our campuses.

The safety of our students is our top priority and we will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Office, school resource officers, our staff members and our students to provide an environment that is conducive to learning at all times.”

The mother and student involved did not respond to WWL-TV’s request for comment Tuesday. Sheriff Tregre told the media they watched the new video that shows the entire fight with him on Tuesday morning. 

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