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Students received texts saying brawl could lead to shooting.
Twenty people have been arrested and more arrests are expected after a brawl at Manchester High School that led to rumors of a possible shooting at the school on Friday.
More police are stationed at Manchester High School on Friday because of those rumors, which stem from a massive fight that broke out around 9 a.m. on Thursday. Parents of two students said racial tensions between Black and Latino students led to the fight.
Bria Harris, a junior, received a text message about a possible shootout at the high school on Friday.
“I’m scared. I don't know what could happen. People can be in so much danger,” Bria Harris, a junior, said.
Kevin O'Donnell, principal of Manchester High School, said this appears to be largely rumor, but admitted that gang activity is a concern at the school.
“If there’s gang activity in the community, there is going to be gang activity at the high school,” he said. “We are a microcosm of the community.”
O’Donnell said police are at the school to ensure that any issues will be taken care of and school officials are scoping out students as the school day begins.
“We had people at various entrances and we had police officers, administrators (and) teachers,” he said. “It’s an enhanced version of what we do day today.”
Students said there is fear in the school community.
“A lot of my friends are crying (and) don't want me to come to school,” Mercheryle Davis, a sophomore, said.
“I’m worried a little bit. Security is tight, but anything can get past security,” Amanda Lopez, a junior, said.
O'Donnell said he wants to assure the community that administrators are working closely with police to make Manchester High School halls safe for students.
Police have released the names of the arrested individuals who are over the age of 18.
Ivan Serrano, 46, was charged with interfering with police and breach of peace. Sasha Martin, 18, was charged with breach of peace,third-degree assault and second-degree riot. Emmitt Dempsey, 18, was charged with second-degree riot, third-degree assault and breach of peace.
While there were rumors, police said there have not been any additional issues of public safety concern on Friday and they will continue to have an increased presence at the school through dismissal to ensure the safety of students and staff.