‘It was a lot to take in’: Parent reacts to Highland Springs school brawl

One mom says she’s unhappy with how the school division handled the situation.
Police say a security resource officer sprayed his pepper-spray to de-escalate the situation.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2022 at 6:48 AM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A massive brawl at Highland Springs High School in Henrico has injured many students and one resource officer.

Henrico police confirm a fight between a group of students broke out around 9 a.m. Monday morning.

Police say a security resource officer sprayed his pepper spray to de-escalate the situation.

“To walk in there and see that many students crying, it was a lot to take in,” mother Monica Tinsley said.

Tinsley says her son was not physically involved in the fight but was sprayed with pepper spray.

Her son was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for his burns.

Tinsley says if it weren’t for her son calling fifteen minutes after the fight - she wouldn’t have known anything was happening.

She says the school didn’t notify families until an hour and a half after the altercation.

Principal Dr. Kenneth White sent out an email to families on Monday saying in part:

Springer Nation:

As a follow-up to this morning’s message, I want you to know that the school day ended peacefully and without further disruption to learning.

As individuals and as a school community, we are better than the behavior displayed by some of our students today. The altercation this morning escalated quickly and required the SRO to discharge pepper spray to de-escalate the situation. As a result, several students suffered side effects, and a lock and teach was necessary. I cannot emphasize this enough: we will not tolerate continued violence, and anyone involved in a fight will be disciplined.

Being a member of the Springer Nation is a privilege and a point of pride. We must not let the actions of a small group tarnish the reputation of our incredible students and school.

Thank you. Dr. Kenneth White

Tinsley says the email addressing Monday’s fight is not enough.

“I will say the cop that was on the video spraying everyone is an awesome person, but they should’ve had some better practices in place for when things like this happen,” Tinsley said.

Tinsley says her son is back at home healing from his burns. She says he won’t be in school for the next few days.

“Pray for our children. I mean that’s pretty much all you can really do,” Tinsley said.

Police say Monday’s altercation is still under investigation.

On Tuesday, Henrico school leaders say additional counselors will be on school grounds for students and staff.