Schools launch stadium fights investigation

Students walk past sherrifs deputy Jeff Eyler and his police dog as deputies and school officials struggled to gain control of a disturbance at the Tuscarora vs. Frederick football game Friday night.

Tuscarora and Frederick high school officials have launched an investigation into fights that occurred during the schools' football game on Friday.

School officials are working to find out who was involved and why the fights occurred, said Marita Loose, Frederick County Public Schools spokeswoman. If a student(s) is found to be involved, disciplinary action will be taken.

About 9 p.m. Friday, deputies with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office were on duty at the Tuscarora stadium when portions of the crowd became unruly and did not stop fighting when ordered to do so, deputies said. With about three minutes left in the third quarter of the game, school officials and deputies decided to clear the stadium to restore order.

"It is disappointing that the behavior of a small group of individuals created an atmosphere making us feel that this action was necessary," THS Principal Kathleen Schlappal said in a letter sent to parents. "However, the safety of students and their families comes first. The administration will work with students, staff and parents to establish our campus as a welcoming place and a safe place."

FHS principal Denise Fargo-Devine also sent a letter to parents Monday.

"Frederick High School staff and administrators will work with the THS community to ensure that this type of incident does not reoccur," Fargo-Devine wrote. "We are continuing investigations this week and will take action(s), if appropriate."

After the stadium was cleared, the game continued with only essential personnel looking on.

Tuscarora won 40-6.

School officials hope to wrap up their investigations as soon as possible, Loose said. She did not have an estimated timetable for how long it would take.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Bailey did not anticipate any arrests.

There is a possibility that Friday's fight may lead to tighter security at future county football games, Loose said.

"It is our goal that families will be able to enjoy sporting events and other school sponsored activities in a safe and welcoming environment," Schlappal said.

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