A fight at St. Paul’s Washington Technology Magnet School triggered a school lockdown Monday.
Initial reports of a weapon on campus were unsubstantiated, according to school officials.
Sgt. Mike Ernster, public information officer for the St. Paul Police Department, said officers responded to a call at Washington Technology Magnet School at about 1:15 p.m. because of a fight involving students. He was unsure of how many students were involved.
When officers arrived, the school was on lockdown. The lockdown was ordered not only because of the fight but also because of “the potential of community members coming to the school to fight,” according to a letter from Washington Technology Magnet School principals Elias Oguz and Melinda McBride to staff and families.
Upon arrival, officers arrested a student who continued to exhibit “aggressive behavior.” A 15-year-old student was taken into custody for disorderly conduct, obstructing the legal process, and assault. He was taken to the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center.
According to the letter, school officials initially received unsubstantiated reports of a student with a weapon on campus. “We conducted a search, and no weapon was found,” the letter to families said.
Officers remained at Washington Tech until dismissal to ensure no further incident. The lockdown was lifted at 2:40 p.m.
The letter said school officials worked in conjunction with the district’s security team before St. Paul police arrived.
The letter said students involved will be held accountable according to district discipline procedures outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.
“We understand this situation was very upsetting to students, families, staff and our entire community,” the letter read.
In addition to holding students accountable, the letter reassured parents that school officials value safety.
“Our staff is committed to keeping Washington Technology Magnet School a safe place to learn, while also limiting interruptions during the school day. Thank you for supporting us as we support your child at Washington Tech,” the letter said.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.