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Published: Thursday, 5/3/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Scott horseplay escalates into fight; 10 charged

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A fight at Scott High School that police said appeared to be gang-related led to the arrest of 10 students, police said.

The outburst started about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday in a hallway on the second floor, according to a police report.

Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said none of the students was injured. "Some of the kids had some neighborhood associations that led us to believe that it may be quasi-gang related.

"... It was just kids acting up," the sergeant said.

"Some of the kids, some of the friends were from one neighborhood and some from another neighborhood."

He added it does not appear that any of the involved students were gang leaders.

The police report states the students have been involved in previous "gang-related disturbances" both at and around the school, including a fight in the street in front of the school last week.

Juvenile Prosecutor Lori Olender said four of the students were ordered to be held in community detention for the Tuesday morning fight. All 10 students face safe school ordinance charges in juvenile court.

Toledo Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Romulus Durant said the students will face a school hearing on either Friday or Monday. Disciplinary action could include suspension or expulsion.

Mr. Durant said the fight started off with a group of students involved in horseplay that became aggressive.

"Once somebody said something, they took off running," Mr. Durant said, adding that school officials were able to track down the students involved.

Mr. Durant acknowledged the school is in a neighborhood that does have gang activity.

In April, police responded multiple times to large groups of people gathered at a memorial for a known gang member who was shot and killed in the 300 block of Islington Street two years ago. The school works to keep community problems out of the school.

Mr. Durant said there aren't as many problems during school as there could be outside of the school. At dismissal, he said, school officials and Toledo police patrol the area to deter fighting or other problems that might occur.

There are several programs at the school -- including life coaches and graduation coaches who work with kids often identified as at-risk students.

Gang affiliation or the possibility of gang affiliation does factor into whether a student is considered at-risk. The school also offers goal and behavior planning for students who have been in trouble.

Last month, five students were arrested after a large fight broke out at Bowsher High School on March 23, according to documents filed in Toledo Municipal Court.

Police on Wednesday also arrested Pamela McDonald, 53, of 1434 Leith Drive, and charged her with one count of assault upon a teacher; disrupting school activity, when she -- a mother to some of the involved students -- showed up at the school "shouting profanities and demanding that her kids be released," court documents state.

Ms. McDonald allegedly refused to leave the property, police said.

She was released from the Lucas County jail on her own recognizance pending a court appearance.



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