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‘It is a crisis’: Fighting continued at Lawrence High School Wednesday

Teachers walked out after classes Wednesday to voice their concerns about the violence.

After six fights at Lawrence High School on Tuesday, another broke out on Wednesday during dismissal.

The fight resulted in three students being arrested, according to WHDH.

Administrators are concerned that the fights are happening due to the school disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic during the previous school year. During a Wednesday school board meeting, Superintendent Cynthia Paris said there will be new groups of stakeholders tasked with addressing the students’ challenges.

“We did not anticipate the intensity of the level of the emotional responses our students are experiencing,” Paris said during the meeting, according to WCVB. “Children left middle schools and showed up in high school with very different demands and expectations, and very little preparation for that.”

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In two fights that broke out Friday involving 14 students, school officials said the majority of students involved did not have a history of that type of behavior, WHDH reported. They were also on the honor roll.

“Our students are in crisis,” Paris said during the meeting, according to the news station. “What we’re learning is that independent of all the resources that we have at hand, it’s still not enough.”

The fights also have teachers concerned, and the union representing Lawrence teachers said they don’t feel they have the state’s respect, according to WCVB.

“The state failed to listen to the voices of educators, families, students and community groups, holding such stakeholders in contempt and ignoring their needs and wishes to pursue its own preconceived agenda — an agenda that has not evolved in 10 years,” a letter the union wrote said, as reported by the news station.

Many teachers walked out of the school following classes on Wednesday, stating that they don’t feel safe, according to WCVB.

“It’s a situation where we’re not able to serve these kids,” ninth-grade history teacher Mindy Richardson told the news station. “More needs to be done in terms of safety for our students, to make all of them safe.”

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Parents are also worried, with one parent saying during the meeting she’s concerned her daughters could be hurt, according to NBC10 Boston.

“Parents, we have to take action,” Johanna Mata said. “We have to do — I don’t know what; walks, protest, I don’t know what to do. But we need to do something about it. It is a crisis.”

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