Mother and her teen arrested after fight at Bartlett High School

Pair charged with misdemeanor assault for Friday fracas involving students, adults

Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A 41-year-old mother and her teenage daughter are charged with assault after a feud involving students at an Anchorage high school turned into a brawl.

Monique Willis-May is accused of walking into a classroom at Bartlett High School and confronting a teenager for allegedly harassing her daughter.

Willis-May and her daughter were later involved in an ensuing fight, which involved students and adults. Both are charged with misdemeanor assault.

School district officials are not commenting on the fracas that occurred Friday.

But police reports say Willis-May and the 17-year-old student she confronted picked up their fight again after school.

The student's mother, Susan Tillmon, then arrived and the punching began.

Court records say Tillmon, who wasn't charged, filed for and was granted protective orders over the weekend against Willis-May, her daughter, and two of her sons.

Tillmon's daughter sustained a bruised face in the fracas, including swelling below her eye.

The two mothers each blame the other and the other's daughter for instigating the fight and both say Bartlett High security measures failed.

Willis-May said the conflict between the girls began in October. She said several girls were bullying her daughter, over what, the mother didn't know. Willis-May spoke to authorities at the 1,700-student school, but they didn't do anything to separate the one-time friends, she said.

Tillmon's version is that whatever issue the girls had between them, it didn't get physical until Willis-May showed up at the high school last week. Tillmon said her daughter went to teachers and administrators multiple times that day trying to get help after Willis-May threatened her.

Tillmon wants to know why Willis-May wasn't escorted out of the building immediately and told not to return.

Bartlett officials are still trying to figure out what happened, said Mike Henry, the district's head of high school education. He couldn't recall the last time a parent assaulted a student in an Anchorage high school.

Willis-May said she showed up at the school because there had been more bullying at a basketball game the previous night.

"I was just at my wit's end with it," she said.

Tillmon said she went to the school because her daughter called her for help.

"She was scared for her life," Tillmon said.

The brawl started in front of about 30 people in the gym.

Willis-May said Tillmon cursed her "from A to Z" and taunted her daughter, calling her names.

Tillmon said she arrived at the gym to escort her daughter to the principal's office when Willis-May stepped in front of her and threatened her.

The police report says Willis-May's daughter took the first swing, striking Tillmon's daughter.

According to police, Tillmon jumped into the fray and onto the back of Willis-May's daughter to get her off her own daughter and the three began sliding all over the floor.

Police say Willis-May threw a female student trying to break up the fight against a vending machine and hit her in the mouth, splitting the girl's lip. Police also say an assistant principal tried break it up by dragging Tillmon out of the ruckus by her hair.

"Parents need to work through the School District to resolve problems with their kids," Lt. Dave Parker said. "To get mom and dad or moms involved, then it just escalates. ... The fairest thing they can do for their kids is to teach them how to work through the problems."

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