An unknown number of high schoolers were arrested Friday in connection with a series of fights at Braswell High School last week.
Students involved could face lengthy stints at Denton ISD’s Lester Davis School, a disciplinary alternative educational program, as well as criminal charges.
The Little Elm Police Department did not respond to calls requesting comment late Monday afternoon. It isn’t clear what charges those students arrested Friday are facing.
In a newsletter posted online Monday, Principal Lesli Guajardo thanked parents and community members for their support over the past week and asked for other input in the near future.
“It is sad that last week’s news might somehow overshadow the work of more than 250 employees who are dedicated to being leaders and role models,” Guajardo wrote. “Our students have worked to create traditions and school spirit established in hard work through academics, fine arts and athletic participation.”
She also announced a series of new safety guidelines that students and parents should expect in the near future.
This all comes roughly a week after a series of massive fights at Braswell on Tuesday afternoon. It still isn’t clear what prompted the fights, which sent a student to the hospital and a teacher with a bloody nose.
Derrick Jackson, a Denton ISD spokesman, said a second school resource officer from the Little Elm Police Department will be on campus each day as part of the new guidelines. Several other security measures have been put in place, including possible disciplinary consequences for students who watch, cheer on or record fights on campus.
Jackson said more arrests are expected this week.
As for the role of law enforcement, the Little Elm Police Department has instituted a zero tolerance policy regarding fighting. Moving forward, students involved in “physical altercations” will face arrests on assault charges.
Through her newsletter, Guajardo announced the school district will increase consequences for fighting, but it was not clear what that would entail.
While increased security precautions haven’t been implemented at the district’s other three main high school campuses, Jackson said those precautions might become more uniform at the other schools in the future.
Since the beginning of the year, students have been subject to random searches with a metal detector.
The Denton ISD Board Policy Manual explicitly protects students from “unreasonable searches and seizures by school officials,” and makes clear that either voluntary consent from the student or reasonable cause must be present to conduct a search.
Beyond that, a district policy outlines the circumstances under which students can be searched with a metal detector. According to that policy, students cannot be singled out unless officers have a reasonable suspicion that a student has a weapon.
Lockers, vehicles parked on campus and vacant classrooms and common areas can be sniffed by trained dogs at any time, according to the same policy.
Jackson said the district and Little Elm police are still investigating security videos of the fight alongside videos taken by students. While he wasn’t sure when the investigations would conclude, he expected they’d finish by sometime Thursday.
He said investigators will not sacrifice any part of the process for expediency.
MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.