Petersburg High School fights: Police have been called to school 100+ times since June

Petersburg Police ChiefL 'We’re bringing in additional officers on an overtime basis'
Petersburg High School Fights
Petersburg High School.png
Posted at 5:16 PM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 17:18:04-05

PETERSBURG, Va. – Additional police officers were on patrol inside Petersburg High Thursday after multiple fights broke out resulting in more than a dozen officers responding to the school Wednesday morning.

Those fights led to the arrest of one student and another student was transported to an area hospital with injuries that were described as not life-threatening.

Officers said that as they review surveillance video from inside the school, more arrests may be coming.

Emergency communications offer a glimpse at what was happening inside the school.

“Go ahead and send all units up here until we get this under control,” the school resource can be heard saying via emergency communications.

The school resource officer then said there was "another another fight in the hallway by the concourse.”

“Headquarters, you copy, city-wide response?" a dispatcher said via emergency communications. "That’s 10-4. All units are en route.”

There were a dozen marked cars from Petersburg Police and the Petersburg Sheriff’s Office along with multiple unmarked cars parked outside the school.

Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian
Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian

“Anytime that you have any type of violence escalating inside the school system, it’s a concern of ours,” Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian said.

As officers attempted to get the situation under control, their attention was drawn outside and caught on camera.

“Upfront in the main office area, outside there’s a crowd,” a person said via emergency communications.

Petersburg Public Schools Superintendent Tamara Sterling said she disturbed by what happened at the school.

“I’m deeply saddened by yesterday's altercation. PCPS does not tolerate any inappropriate behavior from our students. Safety is the number one priority for us,” Sterling wrote in a statement.

There were additional officers in the school’s hallways Thursday.

“And it’s risen to the level that we really feel like that we have to get involved and assist the school,” Christian said.

Petersburg High School .jpg

WTVR CBS 6 has learned that the police department has been called to the school for various reasons 107 times since June of 2022.

When fights broke out inside Petersburg High at the beginning of the school year, Christian said a student hit an officer in the head with a chair.

Police were again in force in the hallways trying to control multiple fights on Oct. 21.

One mother who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her child, who is a senior at the school, said she was “very concerned” about what happened.

“I’m sorry that the other kids will have to go through some things,” she said since her child will soon graduate from the school.

As a result of Wednesday’s violence, additional officers will be on patrol at the school for now, Christians said.

“We’re bringing in additional officers on an overtime basis,” Christian explained. “ We’re trying to staff the school with additional resources in terms of law enforcement presence so that we can continue to have some control and keep it safe.”

The chief said the department is looking at the potential of using grant money to add another school resource officer for the high school.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.