DECATUR – Decatur school officials are still determining what led to a MacArthur High School fight Wednesday that resulted in police being called in to oversee dismissal.
Superintendent Paul Fregeau on Friday said they’re sorting out what kind of penalties might be used.
“It was a small group of students involved,” Fregeau said. “There are various degrees of discipline per the Student Code of Conduct, based on the administration's investigation.”
The fight happened at a Olympics-themed assembly during a half-day of school.
On Friday, the district declined to allow a reporter to interview students at MacArthur about the incident, citing the ongoing investigation as a student discipline matter, and the possibility that it could be compromised or students could face retaliation from others for speaking out.
The Herald & Review has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for correspondence between district staff about the fight and any security camera footage. Fregeau on Friday said he did not know of any camera images of the altercation.
A video posted on YouTube that says it is the Wednesday fight shows students in several areas of the school throwing punches. The Herald & Review could not independently verify the video.
The code says students involved in a “physical confrontation” have to stop when told by an adult. Students who don’t stop or are involved in another way, like recording or taking pictures, face penalties from a parent conference to two-year suspension. Similar consequences are applied when confrontations are with staff members, even for unintentional pushing or shoving of adults who are breaking up a fight.
Fregeau on Friday said no arrests had been made. The Decatur Police Department sergeant handling the case was not available Friday.
In March 2017, a teacher was injured when he was broke up a fight involving five students at MacArthur.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports 65 percent of high schools had one or more fight during the 2013-2014 school year, the most recent period for which data is available. It translates to 15 incidents per every 1,000 students in grades 9 to 12.