Local high school goes virtual until Monday after fights | #schoolsaftey

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Fights on school grounds resulted in more than two dozen students being arrested at Riverview Gardens High School in north St. Louis County.

That’s why leaders at Riverview Gardens High School canceled homecoming activities due to safety concerns and resorted to remote learning.

Originally, virtual learning was set for Wednesday. But by Wednesday afternoon, parents were alerted that the plan would be extended until Monday, Sept. 18.

This letter was obtained by a parent, which shares more information:

It said all after-school and/or extracurricular activities scheduled for Thursday and Friday will be canceled or rescheduled unless said otherwise. 

The letter also shared the decision to extend the virtual learning was based on safety.

“The additional time will allow school officials to complete the investigations into the fighting that disrupted learning. It will also help ensure that additional safety measures are in place before students return to the high school campus,” it read. 

Credit: KSDK

It also stated school and district officials would be meeting with parents and students involved in the fighting. It said the goal of the meeting was to identify, develop and implement solutions. 

Once they return to school on Sept. 18, students will have the opportunity to meet with school and district staff to address concerns and solutions. 

Just 24 hours prior to the change, the St. Louis County Police Department said there were two fights inside and outside of the buildings. 

The first was during school hours and a later one occurred after school ended.

A spokesperson with St. Louis County police said there were approximately 14 to 15 arrests after both incidents. 

They added that two students received minor injuries and were treated on the scene. No one was transported to the hospital. 

Just hours later following the fight on Tuesday, a letter was sent to parents explaining this weekend’s homecoming parade, pep rally and dance were canceled due to safety concerns.

Saturday’s game versus Jennings will still take place at the high school, but no one will be allowed to attend apart from players, coaches, officials and parents. The game will be streamed on the district’s YouTube page.

“This decision was made out of an abundance of caution to help ensure the safety of scholars and staff. Any scholar involved in the fighting will be disciplined in accordance with district policy. Scholars engaged in fighting and/or assault are subject to short- and long-term suspension, as well as expulsion,” it added.

Dr. Marty Casey with the UnGUN Institute addresses trauma with the arts. Casey has a personal tie with Riverview High School and said she wants to help the school.

“I attended there and I got into it with a teacher and I got expelled. I’ve done the work and I know I can help someone else do the work. That work I did for myself, I want to do that for the kids at Riverview,” she added. 

She said she hopes her program can assist the district. 

“When you have a few people with anger … it changes the atmosphere and if you aren’t addressing that … it will continue to grow. Unresolved trauma causes a lot of chaos and that’s what we are seeing with a lot of different children in schools,” Casey added.

Lorenzo Davis is also a 2009 Riverview graduate. Through the organization, he encourages others.

“Mostly young men got the same troubles and know they hurting because I was one of those kids hurting inside,” Davis said. 

The group said it believes there is safety in numbers and it takes the whole community to make a big impact.

“We need to work with parents … to do some professional development with staff and definitely work with the students,” Casey said. 

Riverview Gardens High School isn’t the only school facing these issues. St. Mary’s South Side Catholic High School is also increasing its security protocols at football games. It was forced to shut down a game due to fights and a shooting near the campus recently.

Security protocols now include bag searches and metal-detecting wands.

Alton School District officials also implemented new safety rules after a series of fights broke out in the hallways of Alton High School. It led to two days of virtual learning. 

Five metal detectors are now at the front entrance and gym as well as increased police presence.

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