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Brizard: ‘No Tolerance’ If Fenger Coaches Involved In Attack On Student

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Darion Jones

Darion Jones was beaten so severely that his prosthetic eye was knocked out of its socket. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The head of the Chicago Public Schools promised on Tuesday that the district would have zero tolerance, after two high school coaches were suspended in connection to a violent attack against a high school student.

Darion Jones has said that more than two dozen teens beat him viciously on Saturday and he said they were helped by at least one Fenger High School coach.

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, Jones’ mother said she wants the senseless violence to stop.

Patricia Thurmond-Jones said she and her son now live in constant fear. She said she feels like a prisoner in her own home – not knowing if the teens who were involved will come back.

“I can’t sleep. I can’t do nothing. I’m scared to go. I don’t know if somebody’s going to be sitting out there parked,” she said. “I’m just in fear right now.”

Patricia Thurmond-Jones choked back tears describing what she’s going through. She said she watched as her 16-year-old son, Darion Jones, and her 15-year-old grandson, David, were brutally attacked Saturday. She injured her wrist while trying to stop the fight.

Darion said about 30 other kids attacked him and, afterward, they said it wasn’t over.

Thurmond-Jones said a group of teens came to her house with two men. One of the men identified himself as a Fenger High School coach.

thinks two coaches brought the kids to her home.

At the very least, she says, the men did nothing to stop the beating of her son, which occurred in the alley next to her house.

The family says one of the coaches told them they were there to settle a score over stolen flip-flops.

“The coach said that my boys had taken some high school student’s shoes,” Jones said. “I told the guys in that car, ‘I’ll buy you a pair of shoes. Don’t take my child’s life. Don’t take my children’s life.’”

Darion says he never stole any shoes, an MP3 player, or anything else he is accused of stealing.

“I didn’t do anything,” Darion said.

Thurmond-Jones said her special needs son had his prosthetic eye knocked out during the fight. He also lost a tooth. Another tooth is now loose.

“Why would they bring all these kids out to my house,” she asked. “The adults should have done better. They should have stopped this. That’s all I’m saying. They should have stopped this. … They should have stopped it at school. All they had to do was just call the police.”

Chicago police questioned Thurmond-Jones and her son for more than an hour on Tuesday. Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean Claude Brizard confirmed that there is an investigation underway into the two coaches’ actions.

“And, if it’s true, we will have no tolerance for that kind of behavior,” Brizard said.

In a statement Tuesday evening, CPS officials said, “CPS continues to investigate this matter and school leadership is currently discussing next steps. However, no final decisions will be made until there is a clear understanding of what occurred during this incident.”

Meantime, police also said their investigation continues. Police also said the brawl that injured Darion did not involve an attack by 30 people, but a one-on-one fight. They are looking at charging one 16-year-old boy with simple battery.

Thurmond-Jones said the family has hired an attorney.

She said all she could think about while her son and grandson were getting beaten, was Fenger student Derrion Albert, who was beaten to death off school grounds two years ago. Thurmond-Jones had recently attended a victim’s memorial for Albert.

All five boys and young men charged in the Albert case were convicted, and three of them were sentenced to 32 years in prison.

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