NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Nine students have been charged after officers responded to a fight Tuesday at North Charleston High School, North Charleston Police say.
Three adult-age students, Jinaro Frasier, Darnell Rivers and Damario Ray, were charged with disorderly conduct and arrested, while six juvenile students were charged with disorderly conduct and released to a parent on a custodial promise, according to North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor.
A judge set bond at $470 for the three students charged as adults.
According to an incident report, the three adult-age students told police they were walking from the gym headed towards the “tardy sweep room” to request a late pass for entry into their second period classes. The students told police while they were in that room, they felt like they were being followed into the room by four of the juvenile-age students, and said that while walking to their classes, the group that followed them began to ask “if they had any static." That phrase is usually used to express that someone has a problem with someone else, the officer notes.
The students said when they reached the English section hallway, they were attacked by the other students, the report states.
One of the juvenile students accused of attacking the initial three told officers he was in the wrong class when two of the other juveniles came and got him, and that they ran into the other students in the hallway and the fight began.
An eighth juvenile told officers he attempted to break up the fight between the seven students, but was then attacked by the ninth juvenile student. The eighth juvenile told officers that when he was attacked, he began to fight his attacker.
North Charleston Police said a school administrator reviewed camera footage which showed one of the underage students threw a punch to start the fight. The footage showed Frasier and Rivers standing across from two of the juveniles and preparing to fight. When one of the juveniles began to fight with Rivers, another began to fight with Frasier, the report states.
Charleston County School District spokesman Andy Pruitt said the school immediately went on Code Yellow lockdown to ensure the safety of the rest of the students and faculty of the school and to allow law enforcement and staff to handle the matter.
Video shows multiple students fighting with some faculty members trying to break it up. Some students can be seen throwing punches with some on the ground fighting as well.
911 calls reveal that additional officers were brought in because staff wasn’t able to get the fight under control.
“We need six or seven more officers,” a school staff member said to the 911 operator. “There’s kind of a riot going on in the second floor. We’re going to a code yellow right now.”
The district sent a statement following the incident and said the incident would be investigated.
“We are appalled by the incident of students fighting today at North Charleston High School,” Pruitt said in a statement. “The school and the District are investigating in cooperation with North Charleston Police, and appropriate and stern disciplinary action will be taken against all students who were involved.”
CCSD school board member Kevin Hollinshead said he talked with the North Charleston High School principal and said the fight started outside of the classroom.
“Chaos can happen at the drop of a hat,” Hollinshead said. “It happened in a school, but it didn’t start there. It started in the neighborhood, neighborhood rivals.”
Hollinshead also attributed the fight to large classroom size and said overcrowding is a recipe for disaster.
“I think over here we have less teachers per pupil than anywhere else in the county," he said."We need to have smaller classroom sizes in the school and not have thirty-five kids in one class. That’s also a recipe for disaster.”
Hollinshead said fights like this shouldn’t be happening, but credited the principal and school staff with handling the situation.
“I feel reassured from my principal that he handled the situation. It was one of the things that spilled up from the neighborhood and erupted in the school,” Hollinshead said.