Crime

Video shows chaotic scene of multiple fights inside Verona Area High School

Video shows chaotic scene of multiple fights inside Verona Area High School

VERONA, Wis. - Verona Area High School has additional police presence on campus after police responded to three fights in one day at the high school Thursday

Videos of the fight obtained by News 3 Now show large groups of students throwing punches, yelling expletives, staff members attempting to break up fights and pull students off of each other and students being thrown to the ground and trampled over in the midst of the chaos. One video shows officers restraining one student to the ground. 

Police say in total, three students were arrested after Thursday's fights and could face charges. A 16-year-old girl was arrested for disorderly conduct. A 15-year-old boy was arrested for battery and disorderly conduct. A 15-year-old girl was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, making threats to a cop and battery. 

An email that the Verona Area High School principal sent to families Thursday states, "Shortly before lunch today, two students had a conflict that escalated into a physical altercation. A 'classroom hold' was issued as a precaution."

The email states the classroom hold lasted about 10 minutes. 

The email goes on to say about 30 minutes after the first fight, peers of both students got involved which led to two more fights and a second classroom hold was issued, also lasting 10 minutes. 

In the email sent to families, one statement mentioned that EMS was called to respond to a student who had a medical issue "not resulting from either of the physical altercations."

However, in a press release sent to News 3 Now from the Verona Police Department, it states the ambulance was called to respond to a student "who was injured as a result of a fight."

The email sent out by the school left out details that were in the press release sent to us by Verona police, including information about how several parents entered the high school and were yelling and threatening staff; how the police school liaison officer was physically restraining a student who was actively fighting as the officer tried to call for assistance over the radio, the police school liaison officer was kicked by a student during the fight; that a female student was arrested after punching an officer; how another female student flipped over a table and was also arrested; and that a staff member was injured during the fight and sought medical attention. 

As a result of the fights, two students and one adult were injured.

The press release states "a male juvenile who had been battered by a group of other juveniles, was taken to the hospital by his father", and that the student who was the "primary aggressor in the fight" was taken into custody. 

VASD School Board President Noah Roberts said the district needs to improve on preventing and effectively responding to violent and disruptive behavior. 

"Every student should feel safe in school," Roberts wrote. "Violent behavior of any kind is unacceptable and should be met with the appropriate disciplinary response." 

He added that the board is taking "real steps" to address the systematic issues in and beyond the schools. He says as the board president, his priority is to address behavior, safety, mental health and social emotional learning. 

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