7 students arrested, West Meck HS put on lockdown after 'multiple fights' on campus

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Seven students were arrested and a Charlotte high school was put on lockdown after "multiple fights" occurred on campus.

The fights happened around 12:45 p.m. Thursday at West Mecklenburg High School. School resource officers called for backup as the fights broke out. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) said in a statement that arrests were made, but did not give further details.

Students say the fights were possibly gang-related, but police have not mentioned what caused the fights.

Charlotte police said a total of six students were arrested and charged with public affray. A seventh student, who police say pushed an officer assisting with the lockdown process, was charged with assault on a government official.

Officials said one student also suffered minor injuries when a window was smashed during one of the fights.

WBTV obtained video of one of the fights. It shows the school principal with a bat in his hand as he confronted the disruptive students.

In the video, you can hear one of the students yell, "He has a bat." CMS is responding to the principal and his bat.

"We are working to determine what the object may be," CMS Executive Director of Communications Renee McCoy said. "As you can imagine, staff would be obliged to remove objects from students who may be involved in incidents to prevent further escalation."

CMS will also review surveillance footage from school cameras to determine if other students need to be punished. Soon after the arrests, the school district issued this statement:

CMS is committed to a safe learning environment at all of its campuses and the district takes any incident that threatens the safety and well-being of students and staff or disrupts the learning environment very seriously. Multiple fights occurred on the campus of West Mecklenburg High School today. Following CMS procedures, the West Mecklenburg campus was placed on lockdown and CMS PD and CMPD were called. Arrests were made by CMPD this afternoon and CMS PD and CMPD are investigating the incident. Students involved in today's incident will be disciplined according to the CMS student code of conduct. Extra security will be on hand tomorrow at West Mecklenburg, and CMS will respond further and as needed to protect the safety and well-being of students and staff.

No names have been released.

CMS said extra security will be at the school on Friday.

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