Six Akron students were arrested after a fight broke out Wednesday morning in the cafeteria at East High School.

A school resource officer and eight school security team members responded to a fight in the cafeteria Wednesday morning at the school on Brittain Road, said Akron Public Schools director of marketing and communications Mark Williamson.

The officer radioed over Akron Police Department channels that he needed assistance. Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards said the school resource officer called for backup at 10:35 a.m. about a large fight in the cafeteria. Edwards said the fight started with two students but expanded to include six students.

"Police and APS security had the situation effectively under control within an hour," Williamson said in an email.

Five adult students and one juvenile are facing criminal charges and will be disciplined by the Akron Board of Education. Edwards said all six students were charged with disorderly conduct, with four of the students also charged with rioting.

No one was injured in the incident. Edwards said the police department had additional units at the school during afternoon dismissal for precautionary reasons, but there were no more problems at the school Wednesday.

"We have an expectation that our students come to school to learn. Sometimes those expectations are not met. That is why we employ Akron police officers to protect students and staff. We commend our school resource officers for acting quickly and with care to quell the situation. We take seriously our work and commitment to our students and staff and will not tolerate violence in a place of hopefulness," Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James said in a statement Wednesday.

Innes Middle School incident

The fight comes less than a week after another reported fight in Akron Public Schools, this one in a classroom at Innes Community Learning Center, a middle school, last Friday.

Autumn Zirkle identified herself in a Facebook post as the mother of a 12-year-old boy seen in videos of the fight. She said her son had a knot on his head, along with bruises and scratches because of the fight. She also said Akron school staff should have done more to intervene.

Williamson said in a statement the classroom teacher in that incident acted properly by calling the school resource officer to intervene and by calling parents.

"We are conducting a thorough investigation into Friday's incident and will talk to all parties involved to find out exactly what occurred...We do not condone violent behavior and will dispense the necessary discipline after our investigation has concluded," Williamson said in the statement.

 

Beacon Journal reporter Emily Mills can be reached at 330-996-3334, emills@thebeaconjournal.com and @EmilyMills818.