DA: Student's mother, sister encouraging fight sends wrong message
Raquel Rosario, Precious Irizarry charged with riot, disorderly conduct
A knock-down, drag-out fight outside a Reading school was caught on tape, and on that tape, officials said you can hear an adult shouting and using foul language to encourage the fighters.
Berks County authorities said the Citadel in Reading is fighting to improve its reputation and stop the student violence that has plagued the intermediate school over the past few years, so they were outraged when they learned the mother of a student allegedly encouraged her daughter to get into a fight.
"Encouraging her own child to participate in a fight, that's sending the wrong message, and parents need to be held responsible," said District Attorney John Adams.
Officials have charged the student's mother, Raquel Rosario, 43, and the student's sister, Precious Irizzary, 22, and said Irizzary can be seen on tape telling her teenage sister to hurt the victim.
Investigators said the adults in this situation did not do enough to ensure the safety of the students.
"What she should have done is done everything a responsible parent would have done and that is to attempt to break up the fight," said Adams.
The fight, investigators said, was over a Facebook conversation about a previous fight involving several girls.
"Parents need to be part of the solution," said Adams. "They don't need to be part of the problem."
The student's mother, Raquel Rosario, said in a statement Tuesday: "There's two sides to every story. You heard one side, and the other side will come out."
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