Two students are injured and seven others are in custody after a fight broke out at Maryland’s Annapolis High School Wednesday morning.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools officials said two school resource officers saw fighting at the top of a stairwell on the school’s second floor around 8:45 a.m., during the transition between first and second periods. The school was locked down for more than an hour.
A teacher yelled out that one of the students had a knife, Anne Arundel County Police Sgt. Jaclyn Davis said in a news conference; the SROs told the student to drop the knife, which he did, but then they noticed that two students had been cut.
Superintendent George Arlotto said the fight “may have been some form of retaliation” over an incident that happened outside of school about a week ago.
Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Russ Davies said two students were transported for treatment with non-life threatening stab wounds; one was taken to a Baltimore hospital with a hand injury and another was taken to a hospital with a minor injury.
Davis said of the injuries, “I don’t want to say minor, but non-life threatening.”
Seven students involved in the fight were arrested; they weren’t injured.
Superintendent George Arlotto says School is safe. Communicated with parents via ConnectEd platform. He understands the argument started last week outside of school. Police will remain at school with extra presence today. pic.twitter.com/hBl54ndfFV
— Megan Cloherty (@ClohertyWTOP) September 29, 2021
In a message to families from Anne Arundel County Public Schools, spokesman Bob Mosier said students were safe in classrooms under supervision following the fight. The school was placed on lockdown as officers and staff investigated.
Davis said there was no indication that there were any gang connections to the fight, She added that charges against the seven students are pending, and that more students could be charged after any video evidence has been reviewed.
WTOP’s Megan Cloherty reported the lockdown ended at 10:10 a.m. and some students were seen leaving the building to be picked up by parents.
Classes have resumed at the school. Arlotto said he didn’t know how many students left for the day, but pointed out that some seniors may have had a partial day anyway.
The superintendent added that the incident was “incredibly unfortunate and unacceptable in our schools,” particularly so soon after classes had resumed following 18 months of school from home. He said the resumption of five-day-a-week, in-person classes has “really been a positive start.”
Arlotto said Annapolis High doesn’t have a metal detector, but students go through “an entrance … with adults checking in with students.”
He called for the community to “wrap their arms around our students and our families, so that students know better how to manage their emotions and don’t take these things out against each other, particularly in our schools.”
Davis said the Crisis Intervention Team brought units to the school “to help students work through … the secondary trauma of these kids seeing their friend, a loved one, boyfriend, girlfriend, whoever involved in something like this. It’s not easy.”
She added that the police have a unit that follows up on serious threats in schools, and told students that if they hear anything, “tell an administrator; tell a teacher. When you get home, tell your parents. Call us; call Annapolis City police. Just tell someone.”
The police are asking anyone with video or more information to call them at 410-222-4700; anyone who needs counseling should call 410-768-5522.
WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer contributed to this report.