LAWRENCE, Mass. — Parents are demanding answers after multiple fights were captured on video inside Lawrence High School. Students told Boston 25 News there were a total of six fights on Tuesday. In one of the videos, a staff member appears to be injured on the ground.
Families gathered outside the school following the school day to demand answers from the superintendent. They said she refused to speak with them.
Parents and students said what happened on Tuesday isn’t entirely out of the ordinary at Lawrence High. Some describe fistfights and violence inside the school as a “regular occurrence.”
“They just think it’s a free for all and they can do whatever the hell they want,” said Jose Vargas, whose cousins attend the school “It’s out of hand. Teachers are overwhelmed.”
Witnesses said they saw at least one student placed in handcuffs following a physical altercation. Boston 25 News reached out to the superintendent multiple times on Tuesday to get more information but did not receive a response.
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“I’m worried for everybody in that school,” said father Victor Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he recently pulled his daughter out of Lawrence High School due to safety concerns.
“The principal don’t do nothing,” Rodriguez said. “My daughter is never coming back here.”
Boston 25 News also reached out to the Lawrence Police Department. A spokesperson said, “The Lawrence Public Schools will be releasing a joint statement.” A statement has not yet been issued.
Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez did release a statement, however, on Tuesday night.
Multiple altercations at Lawrence High School in recent days has confirmed to us that in-person school after a more than twelve-month break is taking a mental and emotional toll on students, educators, and the community alike that will require special attention and additional resources in our school community. To ensure that our students have a safe educational environment The City is assigning all the resources available to remediate the situation.
Effective immediately we are adding two additional school resource officers, for a total of four, as well as two additional community policing officers at the high school while we work with students, parents, teachers, the community, administrators, and police to resolve the root causes of the incidents. As always I will continue to work with the School and Police Departments and other stakeholders to produce a solution that empowers Lawrence families and protects students and educators.
At this time the police department will continue to assist the schools in investigating each individual incident. A special thanks to Chief Roy Vasque and the Lawrence Police Department as well as LHS staff for their work in responding to altercations.
Boston 25 News again emailed a school district spokesman Wednesday morning and did not immediately receive a response. Additionally, Boston 25 News has requested an on-camera interview with mayor Vasquez.
There has been no update on the condition of the staff member who witnesses say was hurt in one of the brawls on Tuesday.
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