EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 28, 2013

Haverhill, Methuen suspend students involved in brawl

Haverhill High orders 10-day punishments; Methuen withholds discipline details

Officials at Haverhill and Methuen high schools have suspended students involved in last week’s brawl that followed a basketball game between the schools.

The fight outside Haverhill High resulted in the arrest of two Haverhill students and five Methuen students, according to police, but school officials say they aren’t the only students who were disciplined. Other students involved in the fight but not arrested have also been suspended, officials said.

Haverhill High Principal Bernard Nangle said the two Haverhill students arrested were suspended for 10 days and another student identified as contributing to the violence was suspended for the same amount of time. School officials said the rules of conduct are outlined in the student handbook and that the students involved broke those rules by participating in the fight.

According to the Haverhill High handbook, students are prohibited from engaging in behavior such as name calling, teasing, taunting, bullying and fighting.

“A student who assaults another student will be subject to discipline, which could include expulsion,” the handbook says. In addition, the handbook states that all students must respond immediately to directives from adults or risk being disciplined.

“All face a disciplinary hearing before they return” to school, Nangle said of the suspended students.

He said that in addition to disciplining students, he has also warned all Haverhill High students not to get involved in these kinds of situations.

“Announcements have been made concerning school conduct at all after-school activities,” Nangle said.

Methuen High Principal James Giuca said five students have been suspended, but he declined to be specific about the punishment.

“I met with the students and their parents (Monday),” Giuca said. “I gave the students the opportunity to speak about the allegations. Having then considered what was discussed, I issued appropriate suspensions coupled with probationary measures.”

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