A string of brawls in a suburban Chicago high school has yielded 18 student arrests and a beefed-up presence by Hillside, Ill. police.
On both Monday and Tuesday, vicious fights broke out at Proviso West High School, reports WGN. The brawls erupted in the school's lunchroom; the high school roughly 15 miles west of Chicago has more than 2,400 students*.
After Monday's fight, 15 students left the school in handcuffs, reports ABC Chicago. Fourteen of the students were juveniles and one was legally an adult, according to Fox Chicago. All 15 were released to their parents later that day.
The very next day, however, three more students were arrested in a subsequent fight; all 18 are currently suspended and could face expulsion.
While parents are worried, the district insists the school is safe and did not have any fights since Tuesday's incident. Hillside Police note there were no injuries or gang-related activity, though Police Chief Joseph Lukaszek told Fox social media has fueled the scare.
“There’s so much misinformation put out on Facebook, Twitter accounts, that we have to react," said Lukaszek. "And when we find threats, we review them and look into it, and try and see if the information is good or not."
In 2009, a YouTube video of the youth brawl that killed Chicago high school student Derrion Albert went viral. The incident drew national attention and sparked outrage over an epidemic of youth violence.
*Based on U.S. News And World Report 2009 enrollment figures.