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Legal Action Authorized Against Mayor, Rapper, After High School Melee

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas. Photo Credit: Attorney General's Office

The Mount Vernon School District Board of Education has passed a resolution authorizing legal action against Mayor Richard Thomas and rapper Fatboy following last week’s chaotic incident at the high school.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas and rapper “Fatboy” made an appearance at the high school on Friday, Jan. 11, unbeknownst to the school, its principal, or Mount Vernon Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton.

During the visit - which was without notice or authorization - students got riled up and proceeded to begin fighting when the rapper reportedly “made it rain,” throwing money around, which led to the chaotic scene. No injuries were reported, but a trophy case and window were broken amid the confusion and Thomas and the rapper had to be escorted out of the building.

The incident reportedly led to increased security at the school, with new protocols that include barring Thomas from entering any of the city’s schools without Hamilton’s authorization, unless he is visiting as a parent.

On Monday, Thomas apologized for his role in the incident and “accepted responsibility.”

"I have extended apologies to the superintendent for any misunderstanding and assured him a valuable lesson has been learned," the mayor said in a statement. "Any mistakes made will not be repeated and all future visits of this nature will be cleared by the superintendent's office. As always, our intent is to bring value and support to our students and educational system.”

In his own statement, Fatboy said, ”we just want to help the youth. They are our future doctors, future mayors, and we must teach them to win. They need to know right now that they can win. They can hustle. They can work hard. They can make it! Thank you Mount Vernon for the love.”

On Tuesday, the Board of Education passed a resolution in response to the "unauthorized visit (that) resulted in a melee, extensive damage to school property and the disruption of midterms."

The resolution states that Thomas, Fatboy and their entourage was "asked and directed multiple times to leave the premises, and refused to follow the directives of security personnel and the principal. Even after finally exiting the building, this group continued to interfere with classes by walking around the building causing further disruptions.

"The incident resulted in a melee and extensive damage to public school property, a full missed class period and prevented hundreds of students from completing scheduled exams. This Board of Education is charged by the citizens of Mount Vernon with protecting and ensuring the education and safety of the students, teachers and staff in our care."

According to the resolution, it has been "resolved that this Board of Education unequivocally condemns the intentional and/or reckless actions that took place on (Friday) Jan. 11, and herewith authorizes counsel to pursue any and all available legal remedies against Mayor Richard Thomas, the City of Mount Vernon, Tariq Thomas Kimbrough also known as 'Fatboy SSE,' and/or any other individuals and/or entities responsible for causing the civil disturbance and related damages that occurred at The Mount Vernon High School on or about Friday, Jan. 11."

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