After a violent fight at Haverhill High School was caught on camera last week, the school committee is considering adding security to buildings in the district.
One teenage girl was arrested after getting into a fight with another female student at Haverhill High School last week. School resource officers broke up the fight, which happened during the first of the school's lunch periods.
Haverhill Superintendent Margaret Marotta said a knife was recovered at the scene. Cell phone video shows other students gathered around the two girls with some cheering the fight on. No one was injured, police said.
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During the meeting Monday night, Marotta explained that the high school is understaffed and struggling to fill open positions.
Both parents and students asked for more police officers on school grounds and limits on cell phone use. Others called for harsher punishments against students who cause trouble, criticizing how Haverhill High School Principal Jason Meland has handled misbehavior.
“Over the past four years, I’ve seen my school decline drastically and now it’s at a breaking point," one student said. "Students who are constantly doing the wrong thing are being catered to, and they have no real consequences for their actions. Overall our principal has been soft in his way of dealing with this, and students have taken over the school.”
Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini is also calling for action and stressed that students shouldn't have to worry about being safe at school.
Parents were informed about the incident via robocall and email last week. In that letter to parents, Principal Meland said that the situation was under control and that one female student had been removed by police.
For the remainder of the school day, he said the school operated under hold-in-place protocol, meaning students attended their classes as scheduled but were restricted from freely moving about the hallways without a pass.