A Detroit high school was forced to close early on Tuesday after a massive brawl erupted in the canteen, with chairs being flung and one hitting a police officer in the head.
The fight at East English Village Preparatory Academy had been weeks in the making, sources told Fox 2.
Students at the modern magnet high school filmed the wild scenes on their phones, with students screaming as they ran around in the chaos.
Punches were thrown, and other students either piled in and threw chairs or else yelled encouragement from the sidelines.
Some stood on tables to film the chaos.
A huge brawl erupted on Tuesday at East English Village Preparatory Academy in Detroit
Trash cans were overturned and chairs were used as missiles during the lunchtime fight
Students filmed on their cell phones as chaotic scenes unfolded in the canteen on Tuesday
Footage shared on social media showed the screaming students throwing punches and chairs
The four school security officers were overwhelmed and called the police: an officer appeared to be hit in the head by a flying chair
Trash cans were overturned and the four security officers at the school were overwhelmed, leading them to call the Detroit police.
When the officers arrived, sirens blazing, one was hit in the head with a flying chair.
WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reported multiple students were arrested but Chrystal Wilson, a spokeswoman for the district, said she had no information on Tuesday night on arrests.
No one was seriously injured in the fights, the district said in its statement.
‘After the school was settled and students returned to their classrooms, a police investigation into the fights determined that it could be gang related and additional fights could occur,’ the Detroit Public Schools District said.
‘To ensure the safety of all students and staff, a structured and controlled early dismissal process was used.’
The schools district and headmaster, Larry Gray, are yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Police are seen outside the school on Tuesday in footage filmed by WDIV
A heavy police presence was seen at the school on Tuesday afternoon, and classes cancelled
Beverly Johnson, a parent, told Click On Detroit that the problem had been brewing for a while.
‘Every day since school has been in, it’s been ongoing,’ she said.
‘Fight, people bringing weapons. They fight all day in school.
‘Parents bring other kids up here to fight kids. It’s out of control.
‘My baby called me and told me that she couldn’t breathe and that she was on the way to her next class and they pepper-sprayed her.’
The school will hold sessions with parents and pupils this week to try and get to the bottom of the trouble.
The school, in a rapidly-gentrifying suburb of Motor City, was refurbished nine years ago at a cost of $43 million, with a state-of-the-art computer labs, an auditorium, gym and classrooms.
Students are seen sitting outside the school, seemingly with their hands cuffed behind their backs
The school, in a gentrifying area of Detroit, is a magnet school and widely praised for its modern facilities
‘Our kids in Detroit, they deserve to have facilities like this,’ said Keith Johnson, a retired president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. He told Bridge Michigan that the school was exemplary.
Isiah Williams, head of the New Era Detroit community organizing group, is appealing for local people to join his volunteer group
The school is ranked fifth of 14 in the district, according to US News. Students are 99.2 per cent black, and the students do not come from affluent families: 90 per cent receive free school meals.
Isiah Williams, head of the New Era Detroit community organizing group, said Tuesday’s violence was ‘unacceptable, and preventable’.
He told Fox 2 that they wanted more local people to join their task force to patrol the school area and talk to parents and students.
‘For us it’s important to tackle these things exactly where they start,’ said Williams.
‘We have to get more ears in these rooms and in these schools to hear about the gang activity and stuff that’s going on, to build relationships with kids – so they understand at the end of the day, you’re a kid. You’ve got a lot of life to live.
Williams, pictured right with other members of the New Era Detroit group, said that early intervention was key to preventing violence like that seen on Tuesday
‘Is what you’re doing right now worth the next 10 years of your life being taken away from you? Twenty years of your life being stripped from you?
‘And having honest conversations.’
Williams said there should be more early intervention, to stop the problems escalating.
‘There should be programs like ours set in place in schools to resolve a lot of these conflicts before they happen,’ he said.
‘Build relationships on the ground so that we don’t get to the point where we have a bunch of police officers running and tackling kids inside a school.’
Source: Daily Mail