Mayor Assigns More Police to Lawrence High in the Wake of Recent Fights

Mayor Kendrys Vasquez said in a statement that in-person school after a more than 12-month break is taking "a mental and emotional toll" on students and educators

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The mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is assigning additional police resources to Lawrence High School after a recent spate of violence.

"Multiple altercations at Lawrence High School in recent days has confirmed to us that in-person school after a more than twelve month break is taking a mental and emotional toll on students, educators, and the community alike that will require special attention and additional resources in our school community," Mayor Kendrys Vasquez said in a statement issued late Tuesday.

Effective immediately, he said the city is adding two more school resource officers at Lawrence High, for a total of four. Two additional community policing officers are also being assigned to the school.

"I will continue to work with the School and Police Departments and other stakeholders to produce a solution that empowers Lawrence families and protects students and educators," Vasquez said.

The mayor's announcement comes after two girls were arrested after students said five different fights broke out Tuesday at the high school.

Sources in the Lawrence Police Department told NBC 10 Boston officers responded to the school shortly after 11 a.m. and helped staff break up the fights, with two girls being arrested and one school staff member getting hurt.

Parents like Yreny Soto said they found out about the violence on Facebook. She said she wasn't surprised to learn about the fights.

A fight near Lawrence High School was caught on video; police say it's not clear if high school students were involved, but some students pointed out video of two other fights that circulated on social media in recent weeks.

Lawrence High School is no stranger to fights breaking out. Last month, NBC10 Boston reported on three other altercations.

Soto believes no one is taking ownership over the issue.

"The school says the parents are all the responsibility. No, everybody has a responsibility," she said.

Lawrence Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia Paris has not returned calls and emails seeking comment.

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