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Community leaders address Christmas Day melee

8:33 AM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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Updated, 1/3/14, 2:40 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Community leaders united at the Regal River City Marketplace Stadium 14 on Friday morning to address a 600-person strong brawl Christmas Day that took place outside the theater.

A campaign called "Say No To Disrespect" is being launched by Northside leaders, educators and the religious community.

"The Say No to Disrespect is not about the actions of our students, our kids; it is about the actions of our adults," said Duval County school board member Paula Wright.

The Christmas Day "melee" at the Regal River City Marketplace Stadium 14, involved a group of juveniles and young adults allegedly trying to force their way into a movie. The group quickly moved outside, and grew in size to a massive 600.

Five people were arrested.

Community advocate Commissioner Cheryl A. Williams said in a press release, "what was reported to have occurred at Hollywood Theaters is not representative of our young people, our culture, not our community."

The group is developing a plan of action that includes a website, high school listening tours, parental engagement and more.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is also involved by planning to hand out flyers at the theater to remind parents and teens of the city's curfew laws.

"Our students and parents have to understand that it is important you know where your children are," said State Senator Audrey Gibson. 

The law says children under 18 years of age cannot be in public areas after 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. On weekends, Friday and Saturday nights, the curfew kicks in at 12:01 a.m. with the same curfew applying to legal holidays.  

More: Complete coverage of the Christmas Day theater brawl

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