8/6/21: VA HB257 In Effect (Video) Fight caught on camera at Arlington Yorktown High school raising questions about police involvement
ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) – Video of a fight that took place at Yorktown High School is raising questions about whether or not administrators should have called police as Arlington County voted this summer to remove school resource officers from public schools.
The video shows a group of students throwing fists and tackling each other to the ground. The incident reportedly took place Monday around 1 p.m. during summer school.
An Arlington County Schools spokesman says administrators broke up the fight but didn’t call the police.
Police are now investigating because a parent wanted to press charges.
School resource officers are not stationed at the school because the Arlington County school board voted in June to take them out over concerns of over-policing of students of color and amid protests of systemic racism.
FOX 5 asked parents if they believe the school handled the situation correctly.
“For me, the decision should be to call the police and I think they have to investigate before taking some charges but it’s for the safety of everyone,” says parent Clara Camacho.
“Obviously it’s up to the parents if they want to get the police involved,” says parent Dan Corcoran. “They can get the police involved. Whether the school should or not, that’s really gotta be a case-by-case basis I think.”
Virginia law requires schools to immediately report certain criminal offenses to police, but only if they would be felonies if committed by an adult.
Arlington Schools shared a statement on the incident saying in part, “Student safety is our priority, and the priority of our law enforcement partners. The incident was diffused by staff and administrators who responded immediately, without police intervention…”
The superintendent says schools can still call the police for help in an emergency.