"There were no weapons. There were no knives. There were no guns. It was too many fistfights at one time," police chief says
AKRON – Akron Police Chief James Nice says what happened inside Kenmore High School was simply a big fistfight.
"There were no weapons. There were no knives. There were no guns. It was too many fistfights at one time," said Nice.
About 30 people were involved around 9 a.m. Friday when an Akron police officer, already on duty at the school, used pepper spray to break it up.
"The school resource officer assigned to this building did exactly what that officer is supposed to do. The fights were more than one officer and a few security folks could handle," said Nice.
Stories quickly spread throughout Kenmore High School, students reporting everything from guns to gang violence at the root. Police dispel these as rumors only.
Read more | Facebook post possibly predicted Kenmore fight -- http://on.wkyc.com/1ghMFMG
A spokesperson for Akron public schools says teachers learned about a Facebook post predicting the fight as a continuation of a neighborhood fight that started between Kenmore students and students from Akron's Buchtel High School.
"The word came in on Facebook right about the time that it started to happen," said Mark Williamson with Akron Public Schools.
Willamson says an 18-year-old student from Buchtel entered Kenmore just before the fight escalated.
"Our security systems are not infallible. If a student comes into the building and looks like a student, we may not necessarily spot that person quickly enough," he said.
At least 12 students were arrested and led out of the school in handcuffs.
Emergency responders did treat a few students, including a young man with asthma who were exposed to the pepper spray.
Now crews will be cleaning up the school's ventilation system during next week's spring break.
The entire situation lasted only 15 minutes, but they were scary moments for parents who were thinking of Pittsburgh and other situations.
"This has to stop. This has to stop. You can't even be safe now a days with your children going to school," said Ida Carter, whose daughter was inside.
"I knew my grandchild was okay because he called me, but this is just ridiculous," said Baheejah Waheem, a grandmother who works for Akron Public Schools at a different school. "They can't go to school and be in peace. They can't learn. Because of the violence. We as parents, we are going to have to do something."
First Glance Student Center is hosting a Stop the Violence event Saturday. It will be followed by a walk to a nearby prayer garden for candle lighting.
The names of those charged have not yet been released.