MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than 20 law enforcement officers were called to Tech High School in St. Cloud Wednesday to stop a fight involving dozens of students.
Police say 16 students are not allowed back at school until the police investigation is over.
Penny Pancerev has two daughters that were at St. Cloud Tech High School.
“The first text I got was my daughter saying we’re on lockdown,” Pancerev said. “Your heart jumps because the first thing you think of is a school shooting, and then you hear that there’s a fight.”
One of her daughters was just feet away, but says she doesn’t know why it started.
“Considering how close my daughter was to this fight, I worry about her safety. I worry about all the kids’ safety. I worry about whether they can learn in such an environment,” Pancerev said.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson says the Tech High School resource officer called for backup around noon. More than 20 officers responded.
“Several large fights erupted simultaneously,” Anderson said. “The school immediately went into lockdown. While we were kind of quelling the melee, if you will, nobody was allowed in or out.”
Anderson confirms that lockdown lasted for hours. He says this is the largest school fight he’s seen.
Parents received a mass voicemail from the school in the early afternoon, but were not asked to pick up their children.
In a statement, the school says, in part, “After a brief lockdown, Tech High School resumed regular activities and dismissed at the end of the school day as usual.”
Despite rumors, police say everyone is OK.
“As far as we know right now, there were no weapons involved or no serious injuries,” Anderson said.
Still, Pancerev says something at the brand new school still needs to be fixed
“We need more behavior management, I suppose, in our schools. But it’s more important to keep kids there and keep an environment of learning and nurturing and keep our kids safe and keep our staff safe,” Pancerev said.
Anderson says there will be extra officers at the school Thursday to make sure things run smoothly.