UPDATE: No weapons involved in HCHS fights

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2023

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AHOSKIE – Hertford County High School was placed on a lockdown this morning (Wednesday) due to several fights between students.

Tonya Freeman, a spokesperson for Hertford County Public Schools, said there were two fights involving an untold number of students.

“Those fights were broken up by staff members, the school was placed on immediate lockdown, and law enforcement was contacted,” Freeman told the R-C News-Herald this afternoon. “

Freeman added that there were no firearms or knives involved in the fights. Those involved in fight were detained for questioning, and their parents/guardians were contacted.

“Once all students were secured, we began notifying parents and guardians to keep them informed and reassured about their children’s safety,” Freeman said. “Our primary goal during this challenging time was to maintain open lines of communication and transparency with our school community.”

Dr. Jesse Pratt, Superintendent of Hertford County Public Schools, denounced the disruptive and inappropriate behavior at the high school and promised action on the matter.

“We will take all necessary and appropriate actions to address the situation and ensure that those involved are held accountable,” Dr. Pratt said.

Ahoskie Police Chief Jimmy Asbell said his department dispatched several officers to the high school. The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Highway Patrol also sent officers to the scene.

“We’re still in the process of investigating what occurred here…reviewing surveillance camera footage and conducting interviews,” Asbell said in a telephone interview at 2 p.m. today. “All I can confirm at this time is there were several fights involving several students and the school was placed on lockdown.”

“We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the local law enforcement for their prompt and professional response. Additionally, we commend the dedication and quick thinking of our staff members in handling this incident,” Dr. Pratt said. “We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding these altercations.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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