NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A security officer was injured and Norfolk police had to intervene Friday when fights broke out at Norview High School, following a false fire alarm.
Around 1 p.m., staff and students were evacuated from the school buildings when a fire alarm was activated, according to Norfolk Public Schools spokeswoman Elizabeth Mather.
The Norfolk Fire Department determined the alarm was fake, but when students were instructed to go back inside the school and resume classes, about 200 students refused. Mather said a number of students began fighting.
“It was actually very scary,” sophomore Erin Miller told WAVY.com. “We were out in the parking lot, and people brought their lunch out with them. They were throwing their food and everything. I got in my friend’s car with another friend. We were watching everything happen. Some kid was put in handcuffs after a fight.”
When a school security guard tried to break up the fight, Norfolk police say several students assaulted the security guard. Norfolk officers were already at the scene to help with crowd control during the fire alarm, and intervened. Police say a 16-year-old female student involved in the assault resisted arrest and was shot with a stun gun.
The teenager was arrested and charged with assault and battery, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. She was treated at the scene by paramedics for minor injuries, and taken to Juvenile Intake.
Police say the female security guard received injuries to the face and body that were not life-threatening.
A second fight erupted at another location on school grounds, police say. Norfolk officers responded and controlled the situation, taking into custody a 16-year-old male student. Charges are pending against him for assault and battery, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
“The incident was brought under control as quickly as possible, and we are still in the process of investigating, in cooperation with Norfolk Police,” Mather said in a NPS press release.
School security and administrators told WAVY.com they have identified the student who pulled the alarm, and appropriate disciplinary actions are taking place. However, they have not released the student’s identity.
Because of the incident, all school activities for Friday evening have been cancelled, including Homecoming events. The Norview vs Granby football game is rescheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at ODU’s Powhatan Field.
Parents of Norview students were informed of the incident via a reverse phone call.
Christopher Miller, Erin’s father, told WAVY.com he was disturbed parents weren’t notified sooner. He feels things could have been handled differently.
“Well, I would have put it on lockdown. For the kids that have to walk home, contact parents for them to come get them, or make other arrangements for them to get home,” he said. “With violence going on at the school, it’s a little disturbing. They just told the kids to go ahead and go home.”
But Miller also said he’s had another child attend Norview, and aside from this incident, he still considers it a good school.
Principal Dr. Marjorie Stealey released the following statement Sunday:
Norview High School families,
We all share a deep sense of concern and sadness that some of our students made very poor behavior choices on Friday afternoon, which led to fights outside of our school; the disruption of long-planned weekend events; and continued police and disciplinary investigations and action.
As we prepare to resume classes on Monday, October 27, I am sure that some of you are concerned about the school environment. I understand, and want to assure you that our students’ safety and their right to learn in a secure environment are paramount to me and the Norview staff.
Although we cannot guarantee that every student will make the right behavior choices, our team works very closely with school security officers and our Norfolk police partners to ensure that our school is orderly and safe, and that incidents are brought quickly under control. Our Norfolk Police partners will be on hand this week and anytime we need them to provide support.
Regardless of the attempts of a few to cause disruptions, I want to assure you that on Monday and every day, our students will continue to have the opportunity to receive every benefit of Norview’s national-award-winning teaching and learning. We will continue to focus on a positive school climate for the vast majority of our students who are proud of being Pilots, and who come to school every day eager to get an excellent education.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at the school. Thank you for your support.
There will be additional police presence at Norview High School this week.