Brawl at Audenried High School

March 13, 2009 3:06:44 PM PDT
Some parents say it's a new building with the same problems. Fight after fight broke out at Audenried High School in South Philadelphia on Friday, meaning some students left not in school buses, but police vans.Police were called to the school to help quiet a lunchtime brawl. It started when two separate fights broke out. The first fight was beteween two boys, then a fight between two girls.

"Several students verbally confronted police officers, then Phildelphia police arrested eight students," said Vincent Thompson of the Philadelphia School District.

The eight arrested included three of those involved in the fights. All are charged with disorderly conduct.

Valerie Smith-Webb was taking her daughter, Shana, for medical attention this afternoon after the girl says she was hit with a nightstick.

"Everybody was standing up, and they hit everybody who was standing up," Shana Webb said. She added she was hit in the back and the arm.

"For it to be so few students, they should be able to control it a little better. It shouldn't escalate to what seemed as a riot today," said Valerie Smith-Webb.

Deantre Johnson picked up his daughter, disturbed by what had transpired.

"I'm a little concerned because at orientation they promised it was going to be different, not the same things going on, but now you see the same things going on," Johnson said.

Regional Superintendent Michael Silverman called the brawl an isolated incident. He says it's been a peaceful year devoid of the problems that plagued the old Audenried.

"Honestly, this is a fresh start for this community, and we in the school district want this to be a fresh start for not only the kids who are here now, and the kids who are coming in the future," Silverman said.

There are surveillance cameras in the school that can be used as part of an investigation into the melee.

Meanwhile, the eight arrested, and one other involved in the fights have been suspended, and officials will move to expel them.

The new Audenried building opened back in September.

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