In late September, around 50 students were involved in a brawl, leading to 16 arrests. On Wednesday, a four-person fight led to two arrests. After the incidents, school board members visited the school on Thursday.
“I was glad to be here during class change a couple of times,” School Board member Jerry Register said. “I saw students going to classes. The students were not going to class as fast as I would like to see them.”
Register said that he believed that more staff, administration, and volunteers could lead to fewer fights on campus. However, Register said Rutherford administration and Bay District Schools officials would be in charge of making changes to the campus.
“As a school board member, only I can make suggestions and this, that and the other,” Register said. “But it’s the Superintendent and his staff, and Mr. Pilson and his teachers, they are the ones that are dealing with this.”
A volunteer group of community members began patrolling the school after the brawl in September, in hopes to deter fighting.
However, with only 23 volunteers, there are not enough members to patrol the school throughout school hours. None were present when the fight occurred on Wednesday.
Volunteers are optimistic that their efforts will lead to fewer issues at Rutherford.
“Nothing happens overnight,” community activist Tony Bostick said. “Nothing is perfected in one day. As the old saying goes Rome wasn’t built in a day so we’re building upon this.”
Rutherford has dealt with more issues since Everitt Middle School was shut down following Hurricane Michael. Middle school students now attend Rutherford. There are currently no plans to reopen Everitt.