East Texas High School graduation turns ugly

Tyler Gresham
Tyler Gresham

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

CUSHING, TX (KTRE) – A Cushing Graduation Ceremony didn't go as planned Friday evening.

Police are still investigating, following an argument involving several students that led to the release of a chemical agent.

Cushing ISD Campus Police Chief Shane Johnson gave this statement, "Shortly after the graduation came to a conclusion last night, there was an incident in the parking lot involving two juveniles and several students. The incident at this time is still under investigation. By the end of next week, I hope that all evidence will be collected in this case. A determination will be made at that time on how to proceed."

Several witnesses claim they watched the incident unfold.

"I went up there just to watch them graduate and when I walked out, there was a confrontation there," said Tyler Gresham.

Gresham went to Cushing High School Friday to enjoy a peaceful celebration.

But things took a violent turn, as he tried to leave.

"It not only ruined my night and my friend's night the one that got sprayed, but it ruined the peoples, the kids that graduated," said Gresham.

Gresham says he was trying to help break up an argument involving two teenagers and several students, when someone else got involved.

"I got sprayed in the face with pepper spray and that's about all I remember. I was on the ground for quite awhile," explained Gresham.

Police aren't saying who was involved or exactly what happened.

Gresham along with another witness, Mike Evans, say it was the wife of Nacogdoches County Sheriff, Thomas Kerss, who sprayed the chemical agent.

We contacted the sheriff, but he declined to comment.

Students who saw the aftermath of the argument couldn't believe it.

"You would think that people wouldn't drag it into one of the most important times of our seniors' lives. It didn't have to happen but it did," said Codi Houchin.

Johnson says there will be a school board meeting Tuesday, at 7 pm in the Cushing High School cafeteria.

Anyone is welcome to attend to ask questions about the graduation incident.

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