Eleven Suspended Following Fight at St. Charles West
Charges have not yet been filed in the fray involving students from Ferguson-Florissant School District.
Eleven St. Charles West students have been suspended following a fight at the school on Friday involving several teens not from the St. Charles School District.
"These were high school aged kids,"said St. Charles School District superintendent Jeff Marion. "It started out as a typical high school beef and got bigger when people jumped in to help friends."
The fight started on social media, Marion said. A student from St. Charles West and a student from the Ferguson-Florissant School District kept talking about whom could beat up whom, he said.
On Friday, two students from St. Charles West -- a junior and a senior -- can be seen on school cameras letting in four people in through a side door in the auxiliary gym around 2:20 p.m. Friday, which is dismissal time, Marion said.
The four people, three boys and a girl, went inside and up to the main hallway, found the St. Charles West student they were looking for and got in a fight. Other students jumped in.
"Very quickly after it happened a teacher spotted it and the SRO (School Resource Officer) responded quickly," Marion said. "The whole thing was over in 3 to 5 minutes, so that's the good news."
One St. Charles West student was taken to the hospital with injuries and was released, he said.
Contrary to earlier reports, no teachers were attacked, however, a few who intervened in the fight got bruises and scrapes. No one involved in the fight had weapons, Marion said.
The four people that were let into the school were all high school-aged, but some were 17, which is old enough to be considered adults under the law.
Marion said he was working to confirm a report that three of the students attended high school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District and the fourth lived in district boundaries but was not enrolled.
Jana Shortt, a spokeswoman from the Ferguson-Florissant School District said they were awaiting more information from St. Charles Police.
"We have received information that students from our district were somehow involved in the incident at St. Charles West High School on Friday," she said in an email. "At this time, we are awaiting details of the incident from the St. Charles Police Department."
St. Charles Police spokesman Officer Erik Lawrenz said police arrested six people Friday but all were released Saturday. No charges had been filed as of Monday.
Lawrenz said police were still investigating who was involved and the motive.
St. Charles School District Suspends 11
St. Charles School District officials reviewed footage of the fight and got statements from students on Friday. Eleven students, both boys and girls, were suspended for 10 days including two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen, Marion said.
One of the students was suspended for helping to communicate between the groups and set up the fight. The rest were suspended for fighting.
All of the students will go to a district hearing. None were in school on Monday.
Marion said if the district is able to confirm the students were involved in setting up the fight, "You can expect they'll get many more additional days on top of that," he said. "We want to make sure we send a message that schools are not a place to address problems physically."
St. Charles West is scheduled to have a buzzer system installed on the front doors of the building in the next two weeks, as part of a plan to beef up security in the schools.
It wouldn't have made a difference in this incident, whether the buzzer was already in place because students let other teens in through a locked door, Marion said.