Local News

Johnston Students Find More Security In Place After Brawl

Posted December 17, 2004

— An increase in security was prominent at a high school in Johnston County Friday as some students returned to school for a half-day of exams a day after a brawl.

Ten students were arrested when authorities had to break up a brawl Thursday at Smithfield-Selma Senior High School. Fights erupted as many students were headed home for the winter break.

Crystal Roberts, Johnston County School's public information officer, said the fight started with two students and "mushroomed" into a much larger one. The officer said a number of students got caught in the middle of the situation.

"It was a whole bunch of students. It was like half of the students in the school," student Delfina Gonzales said.

Sheriff's deputies charged seven students with public disturbance and failure to disperse on command. Three other students were served with juvenile petitions. Five of the students who were charged as adults have made bail, but two remain in jail.

Authorities said it isn't clear what started the fighting.

The students who were involved could also face disciplinary action, which could include suspension or expulsion.

"We're just pleased that there were no injuries. We're very lucky," Roberts said.

The school cancelled a basketball game scheduled for Friday. That game has not been rescheduled yet. When students return back from holiday break on Jan. 3, officials said things will be back to normal with no added security.

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