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Six students taken into custody after lunchtime fight at Southeast High

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, at 1:51 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, at 6:20 p.m.

A lunchtime fight at Southeast High School on Tuesday resulted in six students being taken into custody immediately and police looking to arrest two or three more, authorities said.

Southeast’s school resource officer called for backup about 12:15 p.m. after a fight broke out near the cafeteria when “someone said something that someone took offense to,” Wichita Police Lt. Sam Hanley said.

“We got there quickly,” Hanley added, “and got it resolved.”

In the resource officer’s call for help, he said the fight was between gang members.

Hanley, however, said later, “We’re still trying to determine if it was gang-related or not. We don’t know that for certain.”

Six teenagers were taken immediately into custody on suspicion of disorderly conduct, Hanley said. School staff members helped to identify the students involved in the fight.

“The SRO told me that school administrators might come up with some additional names involved,” Hanley said. “He thought the number could expand by two or three by the end of the day.”

One teenage girl was struck in the face and was treated at the scene by the school nurse, Hanley said.

One student was taken to the juvenile detention facility, apparently because the student’s parents couldn’t be reached, he said.

The first option in these situations calls for the resource officer to contact the parents of students in custody, Hanley said. If the parent and student agree to appear at a school administrative hearing, the student will be released into the parent’s custody, he said.

Hanley said the disciplinary action will be up to the school.

Wichita schools spokeswoman Susan Arensman said in an e-mail that the incident involved “two students fighting during lunch.” The school resource officer “requested backup because it was at lunch and there were many students in the area,” she said.

“Others may face charges for being part of the crowd,” Arensman said.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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