PLAINS TWP. — A teacher and at least one police officer were injured in what some described as “a riot” inside the Plains Alternative Learning Center on Wednesday involving up to 30 people.
More than two dozen law enforcement officers responded to the school on West Carey Street at about 10 a.m., after the fight broke out in a first-floor hallway.
Plains Township Police tweeted that approximately seven juveniles were taken into custody and later released, with charges pending.
The school, which serves students from area districts who have been “unable to perform in a traditional school situation,” is coordinated by the Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18.
Township Police Chief James O’Malley said four of the detained juveniles had been taken to his station, adding that LIU police would be handling the case and charges. Efforts to reach LIU police later Wednesday were not immediately successful.
The fight initially broke out between two students. When the school’s resource officers and faculty attempted to break up the fight, other students got involved, LIU Executive Director Anthony Grieco said.
“There was a big fight in the hallway,” said Skyler Lefort, a 12th-grade student from Hanover Township. “It was crazy. It’s wasn’t something comfortable for the eyes. It was not good to look at.”
Another student who only identified himself as Angel said the fight involved students, a school police officer and teachers.
“Ah man, it was crazy in there,” Angel said. “It was a beatdown. All I saw were cops running into the school, man.”
A female student yelled from a school bus window that the fight started when another student was stunned by a Taser by the school’s police officer. After the student was stunned, the student’s sister jumped on the school officer, the female student yelled.
The incident Wednesday resulted in police from Plains Township, Wilkes-Barre, Wyoming, West Wyoming, state police and Luzerne County sheriff deputies responding to the school. A Plains Township fire apparatus vehicle was at the scene in addition to two ambulances.
The extent of injuries suffered were not immediately known, though Plains Township police tweeted that the teacher was transported to a local hospital and one of their officers was punched in the jaw by a student.
“Our resource officers called for assistance and we appreciate the response from local police and state police,” Grieco said. ‘Within several minutes of their arrival, several juveniles were taken into custody and the issue was quelled. One faculty member required medical attention and has been released.”
Students appeared at windows yelling and screaming while several held cell phones, taking pictures and video of the army of law enforcement officers in front of the school.
Grieco said the school had been scheduled for an early dismissal Wednesday, and it will be open again Thursday.
There are approximately 140 students and more than 20 faculty at the school, Grieco said.