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Police called to fights at Sun Prairie middle school on Monday

Police called to fights at Sun Prairie middle school on Monday

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Sun Prairie school officials are urging parents of students at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School to “speak to your student about the importance of getting to class on time and following school rules” after police were called to a series of fights at the school that forced administrators to keep students out of the hallways for part of Monday.

The Cardinal Heights acting and associate principals characterized the disturbances Monday in an email to caregivers as “verbal altercations throughout the day,” three of which “escalated into physical altercations that required the attention of many staff” and spurred the school’s resource police officer to call for backup. The school has about 1,300 students in the eighth and ninth grades.

Sun Prairie Police Lt. Ryan Cox said the first two fights reported just before 11 a.m. and around noon involved two pairs of girls, and that the second fight was related to the first. All received school consequences, he said, and police were still determining possible citations against them.

The third fight reported around 2 p.m. involved two 13-year-old boys and was not related to the earlier fights, Cox said, and both were disciplined by the school and given tickets for disorderly conduct. Cox said there were some six to seven police officers on scene initially during the day, including the school’s resource officer.

Cox said one of the girls involved suffered minor injuries, but did not require emergency medical attention. Sun Prairie School District spokesperson Patti Lux-Weber declined to comment on any disciplinary action taken against the students involved.

During the final period of the day, the principals issued a “hold,” meaning students were kept in their classrooms and no hall passes were issued, according to the principals’ email.

That policy was continued Tuesday, according to another email to families from school leaders Tuesday afternoon, with students prohibited from leaving classrooms except during passing periods. Students who had to leave during class, for an appointment or some other legitimate reason, were escorted by staff.

Both school and police officials knocked down rumors that a student had a weapon or that police used stun guns during the incidents.

“No taser was displayed or used,” the department said in a Facebook post Monday night, and “officers never located any firearms or any information that any student was in possession of a firearm during any of the incidents.”

The principals’ email said “we did have students who made inappropriate verbal threats while they were escalated,” but “We want to reassure you and our students that there was no actual threat to safety at any time.”

The school started the day Tuesday “with an all-school Zoom meeting to reinforce expectations, lay out our school response, and reiterate our commitment to safety,” according to the principals.

The school district is in the process of building a second high school on the city’s west side. When it opens in fall 2022, the district’s two schools for sixth- and seventh-graders and Cardinal Heights will become traditional middle schools serving grades 6 through 8.


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