BOGALUSA, La. (WGNO) — Two weeks after a teen was shot and killed outside a Bogalusa High School football game, the Louisiana High School Athletics Association voted Thursday (Oct. 27) to relocate the school’s Nov. 4 contest due to safety concerns. Now, despite a call to action by mayor Wendy Perrette to reverse the decision, the organization has confirmed it will uphold the ruling.
We’re told the vote to relocate the Bogalusa-Albany game came from a 3-2 vote between school officials at District 7-3A schools: Pine, Albany, Jewel Sumner, Amite, and Bogalusa high schools. So far, the location of the game has not been determined.
In a statement, an LHSAA spokesperson says that the ruling will be upheld, adding that is currently only applicable to the Nov. 8 match. However, if the Lumberjacks enter post-season play, the decision could be revisited to determine where future home games will be held.
In a letter addressed to the LHSAA on Friday, Perrette spoke on the reason for the committee’s vote — a fatal exchange of gunfire outside the school’s homecoming game against Jewel Sumner on Oct. 14.
As the final minutes of the game ticked away, police say 18 to 20 rounds were fired off by three people. One of the shooters, a 15-year-old boy, was struck by gunfire. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died.
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Sitting in the stands was Perrette, a BHS alum herself, who is now asking that the LHSAA’s decision to relocate the Lumberjacks’ final home game against Albany to a neutral location be reversed. Part of the reason, she says, is because the people who fired off the shots were from out of town.
“Contrary to what you may have been told, Bogalusa is not in the midst of a crime wave,” Perrette wrote. “Violent crime has increased this year, yes – as it has in almost every city throughout the nation. We are working hard not only to apprehend wrongdoers but to prevent crime from occurring.”
The letter was written just one week before the school’s final home game against Albany. Perrette says to address the LHSAA’s safety concerns, additional security would be added to the city’s ‘already-enforced force for game night.’
I’ll pay for it myself if I need to,” the mayor added. Read Perrette’s full letter in the reader below.
FULL LETTER: Bogalusa mayor Wendy Perrette to Louisiana High School Athletic Association
“As mayor, as a citizen, and as a graduate of Bogalusa High School, I implore you to reconsider the LHSAA’s decision to prevent Bogalusa High School’s football team from completing its season on its home field next week.
I am certainly aware of the gunfire that occurred at the BHS stadium on Oct. 14; I was in the stands when it happened, celebrating Homecoming at my alma mater. I am also very aware that the perpetrators of this horrible crime were not from Bogalusa, but had brought their criminal behavior to our community from elsewhere.
Since becoming mayor eight years ago, I have worked hard to improve and expand our Police Department, giving them all the tools they need. We work intimately with the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, and recently joined a multi-agency Violent Crime Task Force. Contrary to what you may have been told, Bogalusa is not in the midst of a crime wave. Violent crime has increased this year, yes – as it has in almost every city throughout the nation. We are working hard not only to apprehend wrongdoers, but to prevent crime from occurring.
If it would satisfy LHSAA, we will add additional security to our already-enhanced force for game night. I’ll pay for it myself, if I need to.
Please allow the students of BHS to end their season on a high note – and at home!”