A dozen Bladen County students arrested for starting a riot

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A dozen high school students in Bladen County have been arrested in connection to a brawl that broke out Monday morning.

According to Bladen County Sheriff's Deputies, the riot that erupted at West Bladen High School was gang related.  Now, they are taking steps to ensure more violence doesn't escalate.

Bladen County classrooms were empty Tuesday for a student holiday, and deputies want to make sure the high school is safe when they return.

Law enforcement officers plan to hold a meeting with the school board and parents who have children who were involved in the fights.

Bob Young, with the Elizabethtown First Presbyterian Church, has been conducting community meetings trying to stop the gang violence.

"We're looking to take action by having parenting workshops," said Young.  "[We're] trying to talk with kids about gangs and violence."

Hopefully those meetings will work so sheriff's deputies don't have to keep meeting administrators at school.  Metal detectors and extra officers will be on hand at West Bladen Wednesday.

The 12 students who were arrested have been charged with starting a riot.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.