Police knew about fight brewing at Normandy High; Second scuffle in Two Days - KMOV.com

Police knew about fight brewing at Normandy High; Second scuffle in Two Days

Violence for the second day in a row at Normandy High School.  Today, a group of teenage girls got into an argument and wound up in handcuffs -- just one day after a fight near campus ended with a student shot in the leg.

News 4's Maggie Crane is working to find out what's being done to keep it from happening again.

While police say trouble here at Normandy High is nothing new, officers are getting more clever about curbing it.  Some of it is learning about potential problems from Internet postings, and parents -- listen up -- because part of the plan could soon hit you in your pocketbook.

"People are scared about sending their kids to school," Charles Pierce says.

Today, six students were caught scuffling after school.

"It was just a misunderstanding," one of the students involved tells News 4.  "It wasn't even a fight; it was just a misunderstanding."

The freshman along with five of her friends were taken into police custody and handcuffed to officers' desks at the Wellston Police Department while they waited for their parents to come pick them up.

"Zero tolerance is how you start on it," Lt. Christopher Clay of the Wellston Police Department says of stopping the string of violence.

Lt. Clay says police were actually prepared for yesterday's violence and had more officers on stand-by.

"We just didn't know it was going to be this extent with a weapon involved," Lt. Clay says.

They found out from an altercation that started on the Internet, which then spilled to the streets after school.  A student watching the fight unfold got shot in the leg.

"It seems like every time it ends up on Myspace, we have some type of incident," Lt. Clay says.  "That's how we came to know about this incident."

Police say several officers plus security guards are enough.

"You can put an officer on every corner, but the crime's going to be committed between them," Lt. Clay says.  "We have 10 different departments out here after school.  We probably stopped 60 incidents just from them seeing us there."

"You can't do anything but guide your own," Pierce says.  "You've got to guide your own."

And if parents don't, they could soon face fines, parental guidance or counseling for their kids.

"(An ordinance) would allow the city would be able to issue a citation to the parent for parental responsibility," Lt. Clay says.  "Having parents accountable for their children's actions is going to be the solution to this.  We can't do it by ourselves."

Officers say that ordinance could be on the books as early as October.

News 4 also asked about whether the fighting had anything to do with rivalry retaliation after the Wellston School District dissolved and students were sent to Normandy High School.

Students told us neither fight was over rivalry.

"It was just kids being kids," Lt. Clay says. "Besides, it has nothing to do with merging.  It has to do with what city you are from."

Normandy High is made up of students from 24 different municipalities.

Police are still searching for the gunman in yesterday's shooting.  They now say might be a Normandy student.  Charges are unlikely against the girls who fought today.

Maggie is a reporter at News 4.  To contact her, email mcrane@kmov.com

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