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Social media played big role in St. Charles West High School fight

5:47 PM, Feb 12, 2013   |    comments
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By Sharon Stevens Education Reporter

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KSDK) - Social media played a big role in that big fight last Friday at St. Charles West High School.

Eleven students have been suspended, and three students from a different district could also be in trouble.

Police are trying to determine whether to seek criminal charges.

School officials say it started as a boy fight but ended with six females and five males being suspended. Ten students were suspended for fighting and the 11th student was suspended for helping to plan the fight on social media.

School officials say it all started on twitter, involving male students from west and from the Ferguson-Florissant School District.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Marion says the social media angle is a challenge.

"If their privacy settings are such that we can't get it, they have to agree to show it to us. Some students show us information that's been sent to them and we rely on that," said Dr. Marion.

"We've got to take a look at social media, how we can use it to our advantage to make sure that we can take steps or measures to deal with anything that may come up out of that," said Officer Erik Lawrenz with the St. Charles Police Department.

The district has added more police at the school when classes start and at the end of the day, and there are more adult monitors in the hallways.

Dr. Marion says one of the takeaways from Friday's fight is that school safety is a group effort.

"The schools cannot alone keep schools safe. We need students themselves to provide information. We need parents to tell us if they are hearing things," said Dr. Marion.

He adds the students from the Ferguson-Florissant School District got in through a side door with help from a west student.

A spokesperson for the Ferguson-Florissant School District says three of their students could be reprimanded. The district is waiting for police to complete their investigation.



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