NORFOLK, Va. - Granby High School is making some major changes following alarge fight at the school Thursday that ended with 15 arrests.
In addition to added security, the school has cancelled a Fridaypep rally and the Homecoming dance.
Norfolk Public Schools spokesperson Mike Spencer said Thursday'sincident was isolated, but school administrators decided to cancelthe events anyway. Some view the action as a blanket punishment. "Idon't know that we see it as punishing, but we certainly are beingprudent and while that is our belief, it's only based on ourexperience. So, we want to make sure everybody is safe, which isour first and foremost priority - making sure staff and studentsare safe," said Spencer.
Norfolk Police were called to
Jennifer Francis with Norfolk Public Schools said two femalestudents got into an argument at lunchtime, but officials broke itup before it got physical. Then, those same students startedfighting again a short while later, which grew into a large fightinvolving other students, said Francis.
12 girls and two boys were arrested and charged with DisorderlyConduct, according to Police spokesperson Chris Amos. A parent ofone of the students was also arrested and charged with Assault on aJuvenile.
The school was put on lockdown. Parents started showing up toget their children because Thursday was a scheduled early releaseday. The parents were anxious, because they could not get inthe school or find out what was happening.
Inside the school during the fight, students told WAVY.com itwas pure mayhem.
"We were inside our class when the principal announced that wewere on lockdown so we got in the corner of our room and the lightswere turned out and I heard screaming and yelling out there in thehall," said one freshman student.
Teams of officers and K-9 units descended on the school.
"Windows got broken," said another student. "The fighting wasreally intense. We smelled mace, then we got pushed into the chorusroom."
Another student told WAVY.com, "I saw food flying and everyonerunning."
According to school officials, school will be in session Friday,but all homecoming activities except for the football gamehave been canceled.
Students were upset to hear of the cancellation.
"Everybody else has to be punished, because of it, it's notfair," said junior Collin Kelly.
"I've seen my friends dresses on them [and] they look stunning.It was going to be the one night we all actually looked good, otherthan our senior prom," said Katherine-Anne Christy.
Friday's football game will go on as scheduled, but Tim Kelly, afreshman and JV football player wonders if the team can win withouta pep rally.
"It's real exciting; I would have been excited," said Kelly.
Mike Spencer told WAVY.com the game is not canceled becauseGranby is playing a team from a different city, Wilson High School,and because a football stadium is easier to control with securitythan a gymnasium or cafeteria.
Police say there were no weapons involved and no one wasinjured. They also say they do not believe the fighting was gangrelated.
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