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Police check knife reports at North High

September 28, 2000

Police check knife reports at North High



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


For the second straight day, Hagerstown City Police were called to North Hagerstown High School Thursday for reports of a knife-wielding student.

It was unclear, however, whether a knife was seen at the school Thursday.

According to Hagerstown Police Sgt. Steve Bussard, one male student hit another male student in the mouth.

He said some students initially reported seeing what they believed was a knife. When questioned by police, they couldn't say for sure whether they saw a knife. The two students involved each denied having a knife.

Principal Dave Reeder said he doesn't consider Thursday's dispute to be a fight.

"It was a little anger getting in the way of some things," he said.

Only one of the students involved was suspended because he was the clear aggressor, said Reeder.

Reeder said no one was hurt in the Thursday incident and that "it may be a little carryover from Wednesday," where a student was cut on his index finger during a fight with another student at the school.

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He said in that case, the two males were caught fighting in the halls between class periods.

Lt. Gary Spielman said Thursday that one of the students pulled out a knife during the Wednesday fight but that the victim wrestled it away from the original attacker and then the victim cut the attacker, nearly severing his finger.

The injured student was taken to Washington County Hospital and his index finger was stitched, he said.

Teachers and other students broke up the brief fight, he said. The knife used in the dispute was not found.

Reeder said Wednesday's brawl was "something that was brewing a long time, that came off the street and into the school."

Both juveniles were suspended while school officials and Hagerstown City Police investigate, according to Reeder.

"It is the school's policy to call police whenever there's a fight where blood's drawn," Reeder said.

He said the no tolerance policy and police involvement has "exacerbated the thought that a lot of fights are going on," said Reeder.

Despite two incidents which may have involved weapons, Reeder said the school wasn't experiencing more violence and that it was just getting more attention.

Reeder said Hagerstown City Police have been in the schools in the mornings and afternoons since the start of the year and will step up patrols as result of the incidents.

The police presence will send a signal to students that "aggression is not tolerated at North High," said Reeder.

Dan Kulin and Marlo Barnhart contributed to this story.

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