Dayton Public Schools increases security due to Monday after-school brawl

Dayton Public Schools will have extra personnel at both Dunbar and Thurgood Marshall high schools the rest of this week after a brawl involving about a dozen students happened Monday afternoon at Thurgood.

“We are taking measures to remove those involved,” Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said. “This is, however, a community issue. Our communities need to step up and stop our youth from responding in these ways. This had nothing to do with school.”

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Lolli said the fight stemmed from an incident over the weekend, possibly at a party, that involved a Dunbar student and a Thurgood student. She said students from Dunbar showed up Monday at Thurgood as school was letting out.

Video reviewed by the Dayton Daily News showed multiple students tackling one another and throwing punches just outside the south side of the school, as a security guard and at least two other school employees tried to intervene.

One person was punched repeatedly as he lay on his back on the concrete sidewalk, before others pulled the attacker off. As the fight occurred around dismissal time, there were a few dozen other people loosely ringing the scene, some participating, some watching and some trying to break it up.

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Lolli said DPS officials are not aware of anyone being hospitalized after the fight, and they referred questions about arrests to the Dayton Police Department

Riverside and Dayton Police have said that multiple violent crimes involving juveniles last week were linked. Dayton Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper called it “back-and-forth retaliation over a recent homicide.”

Police have not commented on whether Monday’s fight was linked to previous violence.

The brief incident report that Dayton Police released from the Thurgood Marshall fight indicated only that an officer went to the school on Tuesday morning to follow up on an assault call. Police officials said they had planned extra patrols around the school Tuesday.

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Lolli said early Tuesday that DPS leadership had not sent any communication to parents, saying they still needed more facts about the situation. At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, she said the violence that has been roiling Dayton the past few weeks “moved to some of our schools.”

“It is imperative that we as community members find solutions to the conflicts that many of our children are engaging in,” Lolli said. “I am urging parents and guardians, churches, the city, the police department and the school district to work together to find solutions so we do not lose any more students or children to the violence that’s been occurring.”

School board Vice President Will Smith spoke at length about the issue, saying there needs to be an emphasis placed on the choices people make and the consequences of their actions, because it comes down to saving lives.

“It is safe in DPS schools,” Lolli said. “This issue was after school and caused by a weekend incident. We have extra adults available in the schools to monitor any unusual behaviors. We also have extra support at the end of the day for dismissals.”

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