- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2017

An out-of-control brawl between four girls at a high school just north of Philadelphia reportedly left seven teachers and three safety officers injured, sending one teacher to the hospital.

Three juveniles and one adult, all female students, were arrested Wednesday after two fights broke out at Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, The Philadelphia Inquirerreported.

A video of the first fight showed a blonde-haired woman, identified as substitute teacher Linda Jones, attempting to intervene before she gets knocked to the ground. She was later treated for a concussion at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health, The Inquirer reported.

A second fight broke out in the afternoon, Cheltenham School District spokeswoman Susan O’Grady told The Inquirer. A witness told the paper that fight between two students in front of the principal’s office drew a crowd of 60 to 70 students.

In a statement Thursday, Superintendent Wagner Marseille said the district was temporarily adding more staff to the school and that counselors would be available to give students and faculty emotional support, The Inquirer reported.

“It goes without saying that the violence that transpired on Wednesday is intolerable and heart-wrenching,” the statement said. “Such behaviors do not represent the larger student body community. The district will impose severe sanctions on abuses of our code of conduct and will actively follow through with concrete measures, like the ones listed above, to ensure a healthy school culture for all.”

A separate report by The Inquirer said teachers have claimed that violence and disrespect is part of everyday life at Cheltenham High. They said they have been warning administrators about unsafe conditions long before Wednesday’s fights.

“Students jostle each other, scream aggressively, and always seem to be on the verge of a fight,” one staffer wrote anonymously in a February survey by the Cheltenham Educators’ Association teachers’ union, The Inquirer reported.

“I have been slammed against walls and lockers and had students run into me,” one teacher reportedly wrote.

On Thursday morning, district administrators met with the union to discuss applying better safety measures. A community meeting is also planned for Monday evening at the school, The Inquirer reported.


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