SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County authorities have charged more students they say were involved in that riot Monday morning at Rutherford High School. Officials say a total of 16 arrests have been made.
School district officials expect some of the students arrested to be expelled from Rutherford High School.
“I’m concerned more so that we are seeing an escalation of these events. And it’s just not at school. We’ve had fights at skating rinks, we’ve had fights at football games, we’ve had fights at the mall,” said Rutherford High School Principal Coy Pilson.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford says that law enforcement arrived to around 50 students fighting. Some students are charged with felony offenses.
“We do believe that it had, that it was gang related. You know that it was a conflict between two members of differing gangs. And that’s just not something that we’re going to have a tolerance for,” said Sheriff Tommy Ford.
While school officials say fights are on the rise…Superintendent Bill Husfelt says there is little the district can do to prevent them.
“Social media is the driving factor of most of what we’re dealing with. Because they want to get a video, they want to get it out there, they want to do something that’s been challenged on there. Some of this we also know is gang-related, so you take all those things together and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it,” said Husfelt.
As the fight was taking place in the courtyard, there was a separate report of a middle school girl with a weapon. That turned out to be a pellet gun which was found by law enforcement.
“It could’ve been really scary. And even with the separate incident with the pellet gun, had that young lady drawn that weapon, I’m scared what would’ve happened,” said Pilson.
Pilson also says that there was regular attendance throughout Rutherford today.