News 12 First at Five, October 3, 2007
HARLEM, Ga. - "Faculty, we are on a soft lockdown throughout the day. Do not release students to the restroom unless it's an extreme emergency," Harlem High School Principal Alan Griffin announced over the intercom.
Harlem High School is on lockdown after a fight yesterday involving nine students. Extra officers were at the school, patrolling the halls looking for anything suspicious.
Despite rumors, Principal Alan Griffin says the fight was not gang related.
"It was a fight really between two boys, and we really don't know the reason of it. We believe it might have been over a girl. A disagreement that's been going on for a while," says Griffin.
So, it started with two students and seven others jumped in. All nine were arrested and charged with two misdemeanors: fighting in public and disrupting public school. Five were charged as juveniles and four as adults.
Reid Forzley, Daryl Givens, Rafael Perez and Deshawn Shelton were all charged as adults.
On Wednesday, school leaders were working to keep students safe. Each student was greeted with a metal detector and their belongings were searched to make sure no weapons or dangerous objects were brought on the school's campus. Surveillance cameras were also being used to monitor hallways.
In addition to the extra officers, Superintendent Charles Nagle, Deputy Superintendent Sandra Carraway and Columbia County School Board member Roxanne Whitaker were at the school as well. They say they want students and parents to feel Harlem is a safe place.
"There's a panic in the community," says Whitaker. "Harlem High School is a safe place. This was an altercation that got out of hand and we're going to do everything we can to make sure this is a safe place."