WASHINGTON - Students at a D.C. public charter school saw extra security and an added police presence on campus one day after a major brawl broke out in front of the school.
Somerset Prep DC Public Charter School principal Lauren Catalano said a group of about 10 people came to the school Tuesday trying to go after two Somerset Prep students in what is believed to be retaliation for another fight that happened last week.
Cellphone video of the brawl showed heavy blows being thrown along with kicking during the incident. The principal said staff members were able to keep the group from coming inside the school as the fight happened.
The principal sent a letter home to parents calling the brawl a serious incident and that it was under investigation:
As some of you are aware there was a serious incident after school today. We are working closely with MPD to ensure the safety of our scholars and staff. The incident is currently under investigation. We appreciate your support, patience, and cooperation as we continue to look into this matter further. School will resume on a normal schedule tomorrow. If you have any questions or information that can be helpful during this investigation please contact Principal Catalano.
D.C. Public Schools confirmed to FOX 5 that students from Ballou were involved in this brawl and they are working with D.C. police to investigate.
There is talk that this brawl was connected to an ongoing feud between students at two nearby schools – Somerset Prep and Ballou High School. However, Somerset Prep’s principal could not confirm that.
“The safety of our students is important to us and we take any incident involving DCPS students seriously,” D.C. Public Schools said in a statement. “We’ll continue to coordinate with MPD to investigate the matter.”
“No report was taken regarding this incident,” D.C. police said in a statement to FOX 5. “At this point, it appears that this incident will be handled internally without involving law enforcement.”
As school was let out on Wednesday, a D.C. police officer was on the scene while school staff lined the sidewalk.
“I have a daughter in seventh grade and yes, it is very scary,” said one concerned parent. “Where is the security? They need to enhance security if you ask me.”
“It’s hard because the administration – they get overwhelmed and the kids don’t feel safe,” said another parent. “In order for them to feel safe, they band together to try to fight against whoever is coming up here and that is not the way it should be.”