Southeast Raleigh High Tragedy: Self-Defense in School Stabbing?

by | Dec 1, 2023 | News

Inside Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School’s Disturbing Incident

At Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, a disturbing incident unfolded involving 14-year-old TyQuan General Jr., who was implicated in a stabbing that led to the death of 15-year-old Delvin Ferrell and injured another 16-year-old student. The circumstances surrounding the incident are complex, with indications that General may have acted in self-defense. A widely circulated social media video captured the beginning of the confrontation, showing Ferrell cornering and striking General, followed by a group of students chasing and attacking General in the school gym.

School Violence Roots: Bullying, Family Dynamics, and Crisis Response

This tragic event highlights the critical issue of violence in schools, often stemming from factors like bullying and gang-related activities, which are sometimes overlooked or minimized by school authorities. In General’s case, his violent reaction seems to be the culmination of ongoing harassment, reflecting a concerning trend where prolonged victimization leads to desperate responses.

On the day of the incident, General’s mother, Cherelle McLaughlin, had reportedly alerted school administrators about potential threats to her son. She claimed that the attack was connected to a previous altercation involving her son defending his sister. This earlier conflict had escalated to a point where a group of students, allegedly including some involved in the stabbing incident, had assaulted McLaughlin and General’s grandmother at their home. As reported by The News & Observer, the suspect’s mother, Cherelle McLaughlin of Raleigh, stated:

“My son was fighting to his life. He already missed school. They were threatening to jump on him, to do this, do that. I warned the school that morning right before I dropped him off.”

Additionally, The North Carolina Beat reported on McLaughlin’s own legal troubles, including her immediate arrest following the stabbing for an incident on November 17, which also involved her daughter. The report suggests that General had previously intervened to stop a fight between General’s sister and another girl. According to The North Carolina Beat:

“Sources familiar with the incident tell The North Carolina Beat that McLaughlin’s daughter was involved in a fight with another girl and was getting whooped, to the point that TyQuan intervened by punching the girl his sister was fighting in the face.

 “A family from Raleigh, North Carolina informed The North Carolina Beat that the 14-year-old accused, TyQuan General Jr., who has been charged with murder for the deadly stabbing of a fellow student at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School on Monday, physically assaulted their daughter by punching her in the face during a confrontation on November 17.”

And The North Carolina Beat also mentioned:

“Sources told The North Carolina Beat that TyQuan’s mother, Cherelle Tiera McLaughlin, allegedly has a history of violence and encouraging her children to engage in fights with anyone she chooses as well as allegedly take them to fight other kids they have beef with.”

(Below) Blurry video stills capture the moment General is punched, draws an object resembling a knife, and appears to make a stabbing motion towards Ferrell’s back.

Fight initiated with punch.
Student pulls out knife.
Student stabs adversary in back.

The Inability to Stop Public School Violence

This event brings to light the larger problem with addressing school violence. School districts continue to spend millions on safety officers, equipment and technology to mitigate violence; yet, nothing has turned the tide to quell violence.

Wake County Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor noted that the district does not use metal detectors in schools, but the district’s safety processes and protocols are under review. The use of passive security measures, such as metal detectors and cameras, has been under scrutiny in recent years. Critics argue these tools do not effectively stop violence; instead, they merely shift the timing, location, and means of such incidents.

According to WTVD ABC news, the school and community services will be providing mental health support to students and staff. The school expressed condolences for the loss of the student and recognized the impact of this tragedy on the community.

The following video of the confrontation shows General being cornered and struck by Ferrell, leading to General’s apparent use of a knife in self-defense, followed by the subsequent attack on him by other students. The complex and tragic nature of this event underscores the urgent need to address the underlying causes of school violence.

Ferrell died shortly after this confrontation. As of this writing, General and McLaughlin remain under arrest.

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