Cheltenham School District making changes after fight video

- The Cheltenham School District issued a statement, a day after several Cheltenham High School staff members were injured trying to break up a brawl involving four girls that was captured on cell phone video.

The video captured the girls battling on the floor while an adult moves in to break it up. The phone swings towards a wall where a woman in gray, identified by students as a teacher, trying to stop the fight was struck in the face and fell to the floor.

Wednesday morning, Cheltenham Township police were called to the fight and school officials said the students were removed from the building, and more adults will monitor the campus.

Superintendent Wagner Marseille called the fight "a very serious incident" that was "unacceptable," and consequences for students who fight may include "exclusion from the educational program."

Thursday, the district put out a statement on steps it’s taking “to maintain a safe environment.” They are having additional personnel are on site through the end of next week, having counselors available for one-on-one emotional support with students and faculty members who ask, and having the principal hold meetings to discuss expectations regarding school culture, climate and student conduct. (See below for the complete version.)

Thursday morning, a teacher approached a FOX 29 photographer and said it's about time we cover the story because fights have been going on for a while, claiming the school was found to be 10 security guards short during an audit.

Cheltenham High School is in the Wyncote neighborhood of Cheltenham Township.

This is the complete statement from the district, sent by Director of Communications and Development, Susan O'Grady.

The district's primary concern is the immediate safety of our students and faculty. Cheltenham High School is taking the following concrete measures to maintain a safe environment on the heels of yesterday’s disturbing altercation.

-- Additional personnel are on site at the high school today and will remain in place this week and next week. Their focus will be to ensure that school rules are being followed and that the school environment is conducive to learning.

-- Counselors are available to work one-on-one with students and faculty members who desire emotional support in the aftermath of yesterday’s incident.

•-- A series of rolling meetings are being conducted today by Dr. Raymond McFall, the High School Principal, to discuss expectations regarding school culture, climate and student conduct.

It goes without saying that the violence that transpired on Wednesday is intolerable and heart-wrenching. Such behaviors do not represent the larger student body community. The District will impose severe sanctions on abuses of our code of conduct and will actively follow through with concrete measures, like the ones listed above, to ensure a healthy school culture for all.

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