The principals of rival high schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, are once again sending a unified message to students after fights broke out following a football game.
Multiple incidents took place “throughout the central business distract” after Walter Johnson High School defeated Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in a football game Friday night, a spokesperson for Montgomery County police told WTOP.
Police told WTOP that officers responded to reported thefts, robberies and assaults.
The principals of the two schools — Shelton Mooney of Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Jennifer Baker of Walter Johnson — condemned the brawl in a joint statement obtained by WTOP, calling it “completely unacceptable.”
Among the fights after the game at Bethesda-Chevy Chase was a scuffle near the Bethesda Metro Station that left several students with “serious injuries,” according to the principals’ statement.
“These behaviors by students are dangerous, illegal and completely inappropriate,” Mooney and Baker said. “Together we must help our students understand how such disruptive actions impact our community.”
A male Walter Johnson student and his parent filed a report Friday night that he was assaulted and had his shoes stolen. More teens came forward over the weekend to report assaults from Friday, police said.
Police said they became aware of videos posted on social media showing students fighting near the school on Saturday morning.
No students have been arrested and police said they’re investigating.
Several Montgomery County leaders posted online speaking out against the fighting, including Council member Kate Stewart, who said she was on a ride-along with officers at the time.
I was on a ride along with officers when the game let out. I witnessed the officers’ professionalism as they worked to try to keep everyone safe. I am deeply disturbed by the violent acts and thank @2dCommander for their efforts and communication w/ myself, @Andrew_Friedson @MCPS https://t.co/LqnbijaFjU
— Councilmember Kate Stewart (she/her) (@cmkatestewart) September 2, 2023
Fights after sporting events in past years
It’s the second time the longtime rival schools’ leaders have issued a statement to students following altercations. In 2021, the principals wrote a joint letter after an altercation following a playoff game.
The school system has made moves to increase security measures after a brawl involving two other public high schools in the county last year.
That incident forced Gaithersburg and Northwest high schools to end their football game early. Five people were arrested and three employees with the schools’ athletics departments lost their jobs.
It isn’t clear if restrictions for security — such as student ID checks — were used during Friday night’s event.
WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer and Ralph Fox contributed to this report.
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