Video of Trenton, NJ H.S. violence: ‘Our schools will not be a battleground’
TRENTON — Videos of several fights that broke out early Thursday afternoon at Trenton Central High School show chaos that led to four students being taken into custody.
Trenton police responded to the fight around 1:10 p.m. and helped the school’s security team restore order as a shelter-in-place was implemented, according to an email sent to the school community from the district.
School was dismissed on a staggered schedule and after-school activities were canceled.
Trenton police on Friday said an investigation determined most of the fights involved "mutual combatants." Four juveniles were taken into custody for improper behavior and released to their parents.
Officials told New Jersey 101.5 that Saturday's Homecoming Dance was canceled as a disciplinary action because of the fights. The Homecoming Parade and football game in the afternoon against Hopewell Valley is still on with an increased police presence.
It was Homecoming Week at Trenton Central with a different theme each day. Thursday was 80s Day.
Fights but no stabbings
Videos sent to New Jersey 101.5 via the app show hallways filled with students who are screaming, punching each other and fighting. One video shows fighting outside the school at a crosswalk.
A second email sent to students and parents Thursday night said that social media posts about a stabbing and a death are "inaccurate and unfounded." The email asked everyone to stop spreading rumors.
"Taking part in the spread of misinformation results in unnecessary stress and panic within our school community. When or if there is additional information, the district will communicate it with students and families," the email said.
Trenton police on Friday said they received no reports of a stabbing.
Ongoing violence at Trenton schools
In a separate email, the district used parents to encourage their children to not use violence to resolve conflict and jeopardize the safety of others. It promised harsh penalties for those who do fight.
"As a district, we are committed to eliminating these acts of violence from the educational setting and creating a safe and secure space for teaching and learning. Our schools will not be a battleground, any student who chooses to engage in violent behavior may be permanently removed from the school setting and offered alternative educational options," the email says.
A fight at Trenton's 9th Grade Academy led to three adults and two teens being arrested Sept. 27 when parents came to the school to retaliate for a fight the day before.
Security personnel was physically assaulted by the adults but were subdued by Trenton police officers who were called to the school.
Jordan Jansson contributed to this report