A “mob attack” inside a Virginia high school late last month included crying, trampled teachers and “kids jumping off the second-story balcony,” one parent told WJLA-TV.
Police charged seven students after the fight in Manassas Park High School, WUSA-TV reported, adding that the nature of the charges is unclear.
What are the details?
The March 23 incident started when two students got into a physical altercation in a hallway during a class change, and other students became involved as well, WJLA said.
Staff members and a school resource officer quickly responded to the melee, and school administrators called police, WJLA said. Manassas Park City Schools told the station all the involved students were disciplined.
However, parent Jessica Martinez shared videos with WJLA of what she said was a “horrible” mob-style fight featuring teachers “crying, being trampled on” and “kids jumping off the second-story balcony” to get away from the fight. The station said students can be seen in videos yelling and pushing each other to get out of the way while students also were seen holding each other back from fighting.
— Kevin Olivas (@Kevin Olivas)
Martinez added to the station that “my daughter called me from school upset” saying that she “and her friends were backed into a corner and couldn’t get away from the fight in fear of getting hit.”
She also told WJLA that school officials didn’t email parents on the day of the incident; instead Martinez said she called the school that day to ask why parents weren’t immediately notified and “their excuse was the school was still investigating.”
Martinez told the station Principal Charles Forres emailed the community the following day, March 24.
“When I’m at work, I trust that my child is safe at school with no worries,” she told WJLA. “If I hadn’t asked why we weren’t notified, who knows If we would have ever received an email.”
Martinez added to the station that she kept her daughter home the next day because she was afraid to go to school.
What did the school district have to say?
“We take these matters very seriously, and we are committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students,” the district said in a statement to WJLA.
The letter sent to the community read, in part, that “because it was during class change, many students witnessed the altercation that took place outside of the library. It was brought to our attention that several students recorded the incident and may have shared it on social media. Staff members immediately intervened, and school administration contacted the Manassas Park Police Department. We actively worked with them to issue disciplinary action for all involved students based on our Code of Conduct. I want the community to know that we are aware of this incident, and we are working to address those involved.”