ROME, Ga. — At least 16 Rome High School students have been arrested after a series of brawls broke out at the school this week.
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The school is now canceling pep rallies and increasing police presence at the school ahead of three football games this weekend.
Six juveniles were arrested after a fight Tuesday morning, Rome police said. They were all charged with battery, according to Rome police.
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On Wednesday, five more students were arrested. Two were charged with battery, one was charged with making terroristic threats, one was charged with obstruction and one was charged with party to the crime of battery.
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Channel 2′s Audrey Washington obtained video of a group of teens screaming and throwing fists and chairs during the latest fight, which broke out Thursday in the lunch room. Several of the teens were girls.
Five more students were arrested after that fight, police said.
Rome City Schools issued a statement Friday, saying:
“Rome City Schools does not comment on student discipline matters and all inquiries regarding the arrests should be directed to the Rome Police Department.”
Washington talked to senior Sam Winstead, who is a student section leader at the school and helps organize themes for student events. He said he was disappointed to learn that the school pep rally was canceled because of the violence, but he understands why.
“I think it’ll show that, ‘Hey, we need to stop the fights,’' Winstead said.
Washington talked to one mother, who said she was appalled, but that everything starts at home.
April Wear has a freshman at the school and said the added police presence at the campus is unfortunately needed.
“I think it’s good because it’s protecting other kids,” Wear said.
Police told Washington the fights may stem from issues carried over from the prior school year or from issues over social media.
There will be increased security during Friday night’s football game, which starts at 8 p.m.
Rome City Schools isn’t the only district trying to stop violence. Four Clayton County schools postponed the start of their football seasons until Saturday. The games will be played during the day amid security concerns.
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