Public Safety

Fight at Washington High School prompts police investigation

The exterior of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. (Courtesy Cedar Rapids Community School District)
The exterior of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. (Courtesy Cedar Rapids Community School District)

Cedar Rapids police are investigating after a fight broke out Friday at Washington High School.

Public safety spokesperson Greg Buelow said the altercation broke out inside the school and involved approximately “10 to 20 subjects” who were believed to be a mix of Washington students and individuals who do not attend the school.

A notice sent from the school district to the families of Washington students states the fight erupted just as second lunch was ending and involved six Washington students. The other participants — those who were not students at the school — were probably given entry to the school by a Washington student, Buelow said.

“Staff members and administrators acted swiftly to address the physical altercation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department was also engaged to assist,” the notice says.

Police were called to respond at 12:13 p.m., Buelow said.

“There were multiple arrests and we have been working diligently to investigate the details of the incident to ensure appropriate disciplinary action pursuant to (school) board policy is taken with all students involved in this incident,” the notice adds.

Many students witnessed the incident, the notice adds, and the school district was made aware that video footage was posted to social media.

A widely circulated video post since has been deleted.

“This incident occurred between six students in a high school which proudly serves nearly 1,400 students,” the school said.

No serious injuries were reported, Buelow said, and there were no school staff members involved in the initial disturbance.

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Buelow said the investigation is ongoing and charges are likely. From the incident report provided by the police department, it’s possible those charges will include disorderly conduct and rioting.

The school district said the matter also will be dealt with accordingly.

“We can assure you that this matter is being addressed by Washington administrators and CRPD. We also firmly believe in the importance of partnership and collaboration between our schools, families and community partners to foster a safe environment for all and to celebrate the positive things hundreds of our students accomplish each day,” the school said.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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