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Race plays role in school fight

Incident leads to arrest of one student and letter to parents

1:19 PM, Feb. 18, 2013  |  Comments
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A racially motivated fight that happened during lunchtime Friday at Wausau East High School led to one arrest and the principal sending out a letter to parents over the weekend.

East Principal Brad Peck said the roots of the Friday incident came days earlier when a boy and girl, one black and one white, had an argument that led to shoving. After that incident, racial taunts were posted on Facebook, Peck said. Those taunts led to the Friday incident, which involved the two original students, plus friends. One student punched another student while a school-based police officer, a counselor and a principal tried to diffuse the situation.

The student who did the punching was arrested, Peck said. Additional officers were brought to the school for the remaining lunchtime on Friday and also are posted there today. Peck said that was done to make sure no simmering problems get out of hand.

"It's been quiet today," Peck said.

Rumors related to the incident have run rampant on social media sites, Peck said, which is part of the reason he wrote a letter to all Wausau East parents on Saturday through East's School Messenger system. The letter said the incidents have been dealt with, both in school and with the police, and involved a small number of students.

"The use of racially charged language and fighting will not be ignored or tolerated at our school," Peck wrote in the letter.

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