Akron police respond with 14 cruisers to fights at Ellet high school Tuesday

A fight between two students at Ellet high school around lunch time Tuesday was followed by a second fight, the arrival of family members and further confrontations.

Eventually, 14 police cruisers responded to the scene, according to Akron Public Schools spokesman Mark Williamson.

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"We did have two freshman boys who fought — got in a fight in a restroom," Williamson said.

He said that when four members of one boy's family arrived to pick him up about 10 minutes later, "there was another fight in the parking lot right in front of the main entrance."

Akron Police Lt. Michael Miller said Wednesday that charges are likely to be filed, but the incident is still under review.

School safety has been a key issue in ongoing contract negotiations with Akron teachers.

One of the boys in the first fight, which took place around 11:45 a.m., suffered an injury over an eye, Williamson said. The second fight happened when the other boy in the first fight was confronted by another student in the parking lot.

Williamson said first fight resulted in a "minor injury."

"He walked out of the clinic with a bandage over one eyebrow. To say that it was much of a fight would be overstating it. There were no weapons involved," he said.

There were no injuries in the second fight, Williamson said.

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Word spread over social media spread word of the initial altercation outside the school, resulting in family members arriving to take one of the students home, Williamson said.

"There were two separate fights, and when the police and our security people arrived there, an altercation had begun involving the family of one of the students who had been fighting," he said, explaining the family members confronted police.

"The police just stood there. They did not engage these people at all," he said. "They de-escalated it very well, because the family members who were there were clearly overwrought."

Williamson said 14 police cruisers showed up, but he did not have any information on whether there were any arrests. Police cleared the scene about 12:25 p.m. He said the students involved "will be disciplined."

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Don Malarcik, attorney representing the Akron Education Association, said Tuesday's incident is another indication of the school district's failure to address violent behavior.

He said Pat Shipe, president of the AEA, went to the school to determine what happened.

"There were fights between family members and police officers, there were other skirmishes that broke out outside the school," he said. "It's hard for us to tell who was there, but at least one of the kids involved in the fight called family members and several family members showed up and started arguing with the police. Additional fights broke out and all told there were 14 cruisers responded along with a paddy wagon to the school."

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He said such incidents happen regularly.

"Student attacks and assaults are a daily occurrence. It happens every day at Akron Public Schools," he said.

Eric Marotta can be reached at emarotta@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarottaEric.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Fights at Ellet High School Tuesday prompt large police response