At 8:45 a.m. this morning two school resource officers (SRO) ended a physical fight that was occurring. The fight resulted with two students being injured, and seven student suspects being arrested.
A dispute is believed to have started previously away from school between two students who were neighbors, Lt. Jackie Davis, from the Anne Arundel County Police Department, said in press conference today.
The injuries sustained by the two injured students didn’t appear to be life threatening, she told reporters, and there is no reason to suspect gang involvement at this time.
Bob Mosier, the Chief Communications Officer for Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS), acknowledged in a phone call that school fights can occur, but conflicts of the nature of today’s fight were unusual.
“It’s very unfortunate when something like this happens,” he said. “Parents are understandably concerned. Our schools are safe places.”
Annapolis High was temporarily locked down to protect other students. And Mosier said the district uses a system of multi-platform messaging to keep parents informed. They initiated and are in the process of initiating two telephone calls, two emails, two texts and a mailed letter to students’ households regarding the incident.
Davis indicated the two SRO officers involved actions resulted in the best-cast scenario outcome to what was a worst-case scenario. The was no use of force, she said, and the student holding the knife dropped the weapon when told to.
“There was one person armed with a knife, but there were multiple people involved in this fight,” Davis said. ““Our SRO officers are trained to deescalate and not use force unless they absolutely have to. They were on it immediately and broke it up very quickly.”
She also said crisis intervention teams will be available for those coping with trauma from being near or having viewed the violence.
AACPS Superintendent George Arlotto said during the press conference, that so far the district’s school academic year of in-person classes through the pandemic had been proceeding well. “Solid”, he called it.
But today’s trouble at Annapolis high had him issuing some advice to the county’s children when they have a dispute.
“I need our students to understand that there is a better way,” he said.