Eight East Lee High Students Arrested it Last Wednesdays Brawl Draws Crowd of Over 300
Lehigh Acres Gazette
Eight arrested students. Two injured staff members. And an over 300-spectator brawl that left the school on lockdown an hour before dismissal.
Wednesday “was not a great day” for East Lee County High School, just as a post on the Lehigh Acres school’s Facebook site explains. And that is becoming clearer as details of what happened at the school have been released by the Lee County School system and sheriff’s office.
The most public of the incidents occurred during a class change shortly after noon, when two male students got into a fight in the main downstairs hallway.
“Approximately 300 students crowded the area to watch and prevented adults from breaking up the involved parties,” a report from the sheriff’s office states.
According to the school system, the fight lasted less than a minute and started when one student pushed another. Both were arrested.
Staff was trying to send the kids back to class as “several students were being punched and shoved,” the sheriff’s office report continued.
East Lee County High School and Immokalee High School, for example, are both in differentiated accountability, which is monitored closely by the state due to poor school grades over a series of years.
The girl, listed as a sophomore, began yelling at the male student in the school’s main hallway and went after him in “violent manner,” the report states. A surveillance video at the school shows her pushing the other student, with two school officials jumping in to break up the incident.
One of them, Assistant Principal Jason Kurtz, was able to “redirect” the male student away from the situation. Seeing that the female student wasn’t responding to the staff, Cpl. Melissa Smith, the onsite school resource officer, stepped in to help break up the scene.
When Smith cuffed the girl’s right hand, the student began struggling to get away, knocking the two to the ground, the report said. Smith was injured, with the report listing that the officer had abrasions on her forearms and wrists, and that the girl pushed her in the face.
Smith, an employee of the sheriff’s office, wasn’t the only adult injured during the day’s events.
Two staff members were injured when they broke up another argument between two students at 9:20 a.m. The employees’ injuries were considered minor, reported Stillwell, who confirmed Thursday that one was a teacher, the other an administrator.