Fourteen Students Charged in Brawl Fueled by Ethnic Tensions at Nashville’s Overton High School

Fourteen students at Overton High School in Nashville faced charges Tuesday after a massive fight broke out on campus.

Police said the brawl was between male students of Latino and Kurdish descent ranging in age from 14 to 19. There were no serious injuries.

Twelve juveniles were charged with disorderly conduct, with one also charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. The student put his hand on the officer’s holstered gun during the struggle, according to a spokesman with the Metro Nashville Police Department. All twelve were taken to juvenile detention.

Two adult students, 18-year-old Bayar Abdullah and 19-year-old Azad Abdullah, were charged with disorderly conducted and issued misdemeanor citations.

Located on Franklin Road north of Brentwood, Overton High School is one of the most diverse high schools in the South with hundreds of immigrant and refugee students.

The school was placed on lockdown around 11 a.m. because of the fight. WSMV News 4 reported that the fight broke out upstairs in one of the freshman hallways and bathrooms. According to WSMV:

A student told News 4 there is one hallway inside the school that is referred to as the “Kurdish hallway,” and another is referred to as the “Mexican hallway.” He said ethnic tension is what caused the fight.

“This year, the freshman decided to, mostly the Kurdish ones, go into territory with the Mexicans to try and call them names, to tell them about their situation about Donald Trump and them being illegal. It’s just them being stubborn mostly,” said Victor Minoza, a junior at the school.

“This is our wake-up call. The school year has been harder than any other. It’s crazy, to have a kid in school is like having my son on the front lines military,” said Veronica Zavaleta, a mother.

The police department’s gang unit is investigating, according to WSMV.

Metro Nashville Public Schools released a statement Tuesday evening saying:

It is unfortunate such an incident occurred on the last day prior to break. Principal Dr. Jill Pittman and her team will continue to work with staff to maintain a positive and safe school environment at Overton High School when school resumes. All students involved will be disciplined appropriately.

Next week, MNPS will have counselors proactively working with students as well as with community partners to identify and understand the challenges students may be dealing with in their communities that would result in today’s issues. The district is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all students through its relationship with law enforcement and its various community partners.

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4 Thoughts to “Fourteen Students Charged in Brawl Fueled by Ethnic Tensions at Nashville’s Overton High School”

  1. Rogelio Cortez Cuevas

    My name is Rogelio Cortez and I’m a junior attending John Overton High School (c/o 2019). Not only is this an over-exaggerated, word-to mouth piece, but it is also the complete opposite at what I experience on a day to day basis at JOHS. Although I do see Kurdish students hanging around with other Kurdish students and Hispanic students hanging around other Hispanic students, this case is simply one of misunderstanding and stupidity from both the students and the people looking from outside of the school. I’m familiar with some of the students involved in the incident and all it really boils down to is bickering and arguing between two people which concluded with the rest of their friends getting involved. This is not the case of gang affiliation. This is not the case of ‘ethnic tensions.’ The people claiming that it is are the same people claiming that this is the result of diversity and not intellectual, respectful, and eloquent teenage intuition.
    I shake hands with both my Kurdish and Hispanic friends today as this event has been mainly forgotten to more important events like the new security gates in our student parking lot and how Timmy has a crush on Suzy. Diversity at its finest.

  2. Office of the Mayor

    Diversity is our strength!

    1. 83ragtop50

      Obviously. Just look how the fists are flying.

  3. 83ragtop50

    Diversity at its finest.