Inmates' rooftop demonstration disrupts Crockett State School

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - Thirty young men paced the Crockett State School's gymnasium for several hours, Sunday evening. The demonstration came to a halt around 9:30 p.m. after the inmates exited the rooftop and ran into the dorm.

It is still not clear why they were on the roof Sunday night; however, they were yelling obscenities and making threatening gestures to the staff below. Several of the men were wearing white t-shirts over their faces. At one point one of the men appeared to taunt a staff member with a long section of razor wire.

Throughout the evening the Crockett State School refused to provide KTRE with any information about this incident. A volunteer at the State School, who did not want to be named, said this has happened before at the facility. He said he believes the inmates were trying to make a statement to the staff.

A Crockett Police dispatcher said they were aware of the situation, but the State School did not request their assistance.

The Crockett State School is a facility for the Texas Youth Commission. Youth sent to the Crockett State School have been committed for a variety of crimes, including property crimes and crimes against persons.

The East Texas News contacted Jim Hurley, a spokesman for the school, and he said any time you have disorder it is a bad thing and they will have a review to see if anything needs to be done differently.

Hurley said if there were any staff actions that may have led up to this event then they will also address them. He went on to say that this does happen from time to time and he does not want to downplay the event, but it was brought under control within hours. One inmate was cut by wire. Meanwhile, several viewers called the KTRE newsroom, expressing concern for the safety of the employees as well as the inmates.