WNRR Augusta – (This article property of WRDW-TV)
Dozens of police officers were at Cross Creek High School Friday morning. Now at least 25 students are suspended for the rest of the school year for suspected gang affiliation.
Principal Lynn Warr told News 12’s Lynnsey Gardner the school system received information from the Richmond Coutny Sheriff’s Gang Task Force that there was going to be a fight at the school Friday.
The message was, “There is going to be blood on the walls today.”
She says suspected gang members were instructed to bring cutting-type weapons.
News 12 was the only media outlet at the school early this morning as deputies and school board police were out in force. Officers and faculty members spread out at every door to search all students.
Students who were believed to be suspects or targets of any potential fight were taken to the gymnasium and questioned. At least 25 students are now suspended for suspected gang affiliation. All are boys except one, and all are 9th to 11th graders. Most of those suspended are freshmen.
At least one parent who dropped her daughter off at school this morning was very concerned, and she questioned how safe the school is.
Principal Warr told News 12’s Lynnsey Gardner at mid-morning the school is safer now than ever. She says, in her opinion, parents don’t need to be worried. However, the deputies and school board police will return to Cross Creek at 2:15 pm Friday to make sure everyone is safe when classes let out for the day.
The Principal says all of the suspended students will have a chance to make up their school work if they prove to be on good behavior. There are about two weeks left in the school year.
No weapons were found on any students during the extensive searches. However, the Principal says they did find gang-related drawings and writings. They included questions on how to get into a gang, and “Who is a gang king?” Those writings are being turned over to the school district.
Warr also says they don’t know if all those suspended are actual gang members. Offices think some are suspects and some are targets, so everyone was suspended for gang affiliation. That was done for safety reasons. Police and school officials will interview all the students and their parents to try to sort things out.
News 12 has also obtained information about a previous “major fight” at a bus stop involving Cross Creek students. That happened March 28th. Eight students were suspended then and eventually sent to the Alternative Center by a district Tribunal. There are indications the earlier fight could be related to what happened today. News 12 is also investigating whether a shooting incident later could have been some type of retaliation for the March 28th fight.
News 12 has continuing team coverage of this developing story, including reaction from Superintendent Dana Bedden. Stay tuned for new details on News 12 First at Five and News 12 at Six O’Clock.