Teacher hurt in student melee at Cheltenham High School

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A long-term substitute teacher was injured during a fight at Cheltenham High School on Wednesday morning, according to several sources.


The fight started between two girls in a hallway as students were leaving homeroom for first period. Two of the girls’ friends also started fighting, attracting a crowd of about 50 to 60 students. Police were called, and the teacher was taken away in an ambulance.

Ray McFall, principal of the 1,500-student school in Montgomery County, sent a letter to parents saying students got into a fight at 7:30 a.m. but did not mention a teacher being hurt. He said staff members intervened, police were called, and the students were quickly removed from the building.


The school district did not respond to requests for additional information.





However, Superintendent Wagner Marseille sent another letter to parents saying that students who fight will meet with appropriate consequences, including possible expulsion. He also said four administrators and four additional safety officers will be assigned to the high school for the remainder of the week.

After the fight, first period was extended and teachers were told to lock their doors and keep students in classrooms, according to a person who was in the building but did not want to be identified.

The source said the injured teacher was struck on the head by one of the students. She then fell into a locker, hitting her head. She was on the ground crying as she waited for paramedics to arrive. Eventually she was put on a gurney and wheeled out of the building.

Some students filmed the fight.




Cheltenham police said they had not prepared a news release about the incident, and the detective handling the case did not return a call for information.

In his letter, McFall said that additional adults were brought into the building to monitor the hallways and outside areas. Counselors were available for students to talk about the incident.

“The school is safe and calm; classes and our AP testing are both proceeding as normal, and all after-school activities will proceed as regularly scheduled,” he said.

He said the incident was “a gross violation of our code of conduct,” and he encouraged parents to speak to children about how to manage stress. He said the district would not tolerate fighting or the filming of fights.




“Both behaviors are beneath us and reflect poorly on our larger population,” he said. “Those students who decide to fight in school intentionally compromise their right to learn in our school. Those who are found to have filmed a fight will meet with swift disciplinary actions.” 






















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