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Multiple students arrested after a fight at Rutherford High School

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 8:21 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, more than 15 students have been arrested following Monday’s fighting incidents at Rutherford High School.

Cop cars surrounded Rutherford Monday afternoon after school officials said things got out of hand.

“What we’re really concerned about is we had staff present, we had law enforcement present, but unfortunately, when adults get on the scene. Recently, students don’t stop,” Principal Coy Pilson said.

Law enforcement including Panama City Police Department, Parker Police Department, Springfield Police Department, and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, all responded for backup.

Pilson said when the tardy bell rang, the students should have been in class. Instead, he said roughly 50 students were fighting in the courtyard. And he doesn’t know why.

“What we think is occurring is we have two groups of students. They don’t like each other for whatever reason, and unfortunately, sometimes teenagers make poor choices,” Pilson said.

Those poor choices lead to multiple arrests.

“Anything from battery on a law enforcement officer to battery of a school employee, disorderly conduct. Resisting officers with or without violence, and disruption of school functions,” Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said.

Deputies said when they finally had a handle on things, they got a tip about another student on campus with a weapon.

Ford said they eventually found the female student inside of a classroom with a weapon in her waistband. Ford said the weapon was a pellet gun, which looks very similar to a real gun.

“If she would have pulled that out on a law enforcement officer, it would have been a very bad, bad thing because there’s no way to tell the difference between a pellet gun or an airsoft gun and a regular firearm,” Ford said.

Deputies said she was taken into custody and charged with bringing a weapon on school grounds.

School officials said they’re still trying to figure out what prompted the student to bring a weapon on campus.

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