The Ottumwa Courier

September 27, 2013

OHS students arrested for fighting

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — A series of fights has resulted in multiple arrests at Ottumwa High School.

Thursday morning, police arrested seven teenagers: two 16-year-olds, four 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old on charges of disorderly conduct.

"After staff was done investigating the incidents, they found that none of them were related," said Davis Eidahl. "It was an unfortunate day."

Those students are facing criminal charges as well as school punishment.

The school has board policy as well as its own set of standards that students are expected to follow, Eidahl said. Depending on the severity of the violation and the surrounding facts, each child could face suspension or expulsion.

"The district will issue appropriate consequences," said Eidahl, who added that school administrators and staff prioritize a safe learning environment for "each and every student."

That means whatever consequences the kids face, staff will not just ignore what happened.

"The staff goes beyond policy to make sure that these situation do not [reignite] at school," Eidahl said.

Still, he said, school board policy, applied with common sense, has some clear messages students are expected to understand. In an issue not directly connected to the fights that morning, another student was arrested Thursday afternoon.

Police charged the minor with "carrying weapons."

Eidahl said the weapon was an illegal knife. That student will face both criminal charges and school sanctions as well.

"The student with a weapon, there was no threat made by that student," the superintendent said. "He had the weapon in his backpack, we were alerted and it was taken from them."

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark