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Some parents concerned by ‘vague’ email sent after Clover Hill fight

Posted at 9:43 PM, Nov 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-19 12:43:20-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Some parents in Chesterfield County said they were concerned about the way a large fight at Clover Hill High School Tuesday morning was handled.

A school resource officer used a Taser to subdue one student involved in the fight.

Four teens were arrested after the fight. Three of the teenagers were charged with gang-related crimes.

It was a chaotic scene that concerned parent Tim Nelson whose daughter saw the fight.

"None of my kids have been in a situation where they've seen a kid get Tased in a high school," Nelson said.

But, the Taser and gang-related information were left out of a message sent by the principal to parents Tuesday morning. The principal said no weapons were involved, and ended the message by urging parents to yell “go Cavs” as they drove by the school.

Some parents said they were concerned about the note and said the school “did not handle this one well.” They also felt the principal’s note was “vague and non-descriptive.”

Chesterfield Police said the situation was bad enough that the SRO had to call for backup.

"The School Resource Officer called for a mayday at that time just because there were so many kids in the commons area,” Chesterfield Police Captain Mike Louth said.

In fact, Louth said there were 15-20 kids fighting, and the SRO felt he had to use a Taser.

“The officer felt deploying the Taser at that time was a good option for him in close quarters,” Louth said.

Former Chesterfield Superintendent Doctor Bill Bosher said parents might hear the word Taser and become alarmed, but they shouldn’t.

"For us, it's explosive to think that a Taser was used in a school, but the truth is if the behavior exists in a school, and it needs to be controlled, then the police department needs to use the same force that they would on a street," Bosher said.

CBS 6 investigative reporter Melissa Hipolit also talked to some parents who said they felt the principal’s email was very appropriate for the situation, especially when they saw there were no guns involved.

We reached out to Chesterfield Schools for comment Tuesday night, but have not heard back yet.

Here is the full text of the message parents sent to CBS 6:

“Good morning.  This is Debbie Marks, Principal of Clover Hill High School and the Math and Science High School at Clover Hill calling to inform parents of an incident that happened early this morning at the school that resulted in students arriving in their first period classes early and several police officers joining us on campus to make sure of the safety of all students.  No weapons were involved and we are now on a regular even day schedule.  Please know that safety of all students is our priority.  Have a great day and remember as you drive by to yell GO CAVS!!!”