News 12 First at Five, October 4, 2007
HARLEM, Ga. - More than 150 comments on our web site about the Harlem High School fight in just two days.The fight ended with nine students being charged and arrested. Harlem principal Alan Griffin says it started over a girl.
"We believe it might have been over a girl. A disagreement that's been going on for a while," says Griffin.
But viewers tell News 12, it was not over a girl. They say "it was gang related" and that Columbia County is" trying to cover up things."
We took our viewers' concerns straight to Columbia County Superintendent Charles Nagle. He says the fight was not gang related.
"They do not have any reason to believe that any of these students are involved with gangs such as 'the crips...the bloods' and the gangs we here about in Atlanta," says Nagle.
Despite that, many maintain "it is gang related."
"The only thing that I can tell the community is that we do take this seriously, we have no reason to cover this up," said Nagle,"We're fortunate that we've been able to live on our reputation in the past, but we can't continue doing that. In this fight there were no weapons. No reason to believe that anything was premeditated."
The Superintendent joins Harlem Principal Alan Griffin and Columbia County School Board member Roxanne Whitaker in saying the Harlem High School fight was not gang related and that it started over a girl.
"This is what I've been told. If we find out anything differently after they've all gone to court...I'll be the first to go to the media and tell the media and this community," says Nagle.