A fight between two students at Clark Middle School on April 18 escalated into a violent incident that resulted in the school being placed on lock-down.
Clark Middle School is in the Mountainview neighborhood of North Anchorage.
According to initial reports, one of the students involved in the altercation called three high-school-aged juveniles for assistance. The situation quickly spiraled out of control as the four juveniles attempted to forcefully gain entry into the administrative office where staff and students were located.
School staff intervened and separated the students, but the four juveniles, who were not students at Clark, began to aggressively try to break windows and doors to gain access to the office. A school resource officer who happened to be at the school following up on an unrelated case responded to the situation and attempted to diffuse it while calling for backup.
However, the juveniles refused to cooperate and ignored the officers’ commands. One of the juveniles struck the SRO in the face, while another juvenile started throwing items at the glass window.
In response, the SRO deployed a taser to prevent the forced entry into the office. Another SRO arrived at the scene, but the juveniles continued to resist and ignore commands, police said.
Pepper spray was deployed by the SRO to gain control of the situation until additional officers arrived. The juveniles were then removed from the school and treated by medics at the scene for exposure to pepper spray, and one juvenile received treatment related to the taser deployment. The four juveniles were subsequently arrested, and charges were forwarded to the Division of Juvenile Justice.
No staff or other students reported any injuries, though the officer sustained minor injuries and received treatment at the scene. Clark Middle School remained on lock-down for a brief period during the incident, and parents were notified of the situation. The school district and law enforcement are continuing to investigate the incident, and additional security measures may be implemented to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The incident reflects other recent youth wildings in cities like Chicago, where more than 100 young people rampaged through downtown Saturday night, torching and smashing vehicles, and brawling in the street.
According to U.S. News and World Report, Clark Middle School has about 800 students grade 6-8. Just 12% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 22% scored at or above proficient level for reading. The school’s minority student enrollment is 94% and the student-teacher ratio is 18.