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[November 21, 2012]
District: Violence at Madison Central 'blown out of proportion'
RICHMOND, Nov 20, 2012 (Richmond Register - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The Register received reports Tuesday of heightened school violence at Madison Central High School occurring over the past two days.
But, "the bulk of this centers around rumor," said Erin Stewart, the district's community education director.
"We've been fielding calls from parents yesterday and today also," she said. "But if parents weren't concerned, it would be odd." One parent told the Register that her daughter, who is a junior, said there were more than 17 fights Monday at the high school. Her daughter had witnessed two of the fights and tried to avoid one by going down a different hallway, she said, but was "squished" by a crowd of fleeing students.
"Of course, if parents want to take their children out of school, it's their right to do so," Stewart said. "But, no time in the last two days have we felt like there was any threat of danger to anybody." There have been some isolated incidents at Central the past two days, she said. However, school administrators and the school resource officer, Whitney Maupin, reported only four fights.
Richmond police officers and district administration were in and out of building all day, Stewart said, which is the normal procedure when there are any rumors of violence.
Students have been "tweeting" and posting about the incidents on social media, which has "complicated the situation," Stewart said. "Those things travel much quicker than they used to." Tuesday afternoon, several students "retweeted" the following on Twitter: "I survived the imaginary shooting of Madison Central 2012. Not very many people can say that" A link to a video also was posted on Twitter of what appeared to be two girls fighting in the hallway. The fight was broken up by teachers, and the video ended with what looked like hair on the ground that had been pulled out during the fight.
Read tomorrow's edition of the Richmond Register for more about how the Madison County School District is responding to rumors of violence at Madison Central High School.
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