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School Board Members Spar During Meeting To Address Student Brawl

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A special school board meeting to address last week’s fight between rival high schools in Rich Township got a little testy itself on Tuesday.

WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports Rich Township High School District 227 board members held a special meeting Tuesday night to hire someone to explore what led to a brawl between students at Rich South and Rich Central high schools.

Instead, they ended up displaying some bad behavior of their own, as board member shouted and cut each other off while discussing possible private investigators the board might hire to look into the brawl.

The fight broke out on Sept. 30 at Rich South High School, after Rich Central High School students were taken there due to a bomb threat earlier in the day at Central.

As school buses dropped Central students off at South, someone inside that school pulled a fire alarm, emptying the building, police and school officials said.

While students from both schools were waiting outside, a large brawl broke out among numerous students, which resulted in injuries to several people.

Rich South father Lorne Garrett questioned why Central students were not simply sent home, rather than bused to South, since the school was evacuated around 1 p.m.

“We’ve had half-day schools. We’ve had no school days, so couldn’t they send kids home 30 or 40 minutes early with a note, or with a call?” she said.

Rich Central mother Monica Purchase said the district needs a safer plan for evacuations.

“Even if the students from both schools did get along, and there was no kind of history of violence, the school is too small to hold all of those students at one time. That’s a recipe for chaos,” she said.

Ten students were charged with felony mob action in connection with the melee.

The school board has agreed to hire a private investigator to review the situation, and will examine proposals from a number of law firms on Thursday.

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