Four Texas high school students who jumped into a crowd to stage a sit-in to protest school board policy have been arrested and face felony charges for inciting a riot and resisting arrest.
Investigators say a 3:15 p.m. incident at Venice High School Monday involved about 60 students who forced their way into the school’s gymnasium to protest football coach Kevin Beavers’ suspension because of allegations that he allegedly witnessed underage drinking in locker rooms.
Beavers, 43, was suspended after he reported that players were drinking beer while they were on their trip to Florida for spring break. School officials suspended him without pay, along with assistant coach Robert Cox, for two weeks. The team was then told to practice, but according to a statement posted on the Venice Independent School District’s website, all the varsity players were asked to stay away from games.
The students took up a chant: “We want football.” And that’s when things turned ugly.
Police say numerous parents and other adults began chanting “Get out!” and “police and riot gear, go home.” Video taken at the scene showed officers using Tasers on the students, who continued to shout, even as one deputy used pepper spray.