Sun Prairie middle school reacts after day filled with fights

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 10:28 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Sun Prairie middle school was set to begin Tuesday with an all-school virtual meeting to address a string of altercations the previous day – three of which turned physical – that forced school administrators to stop issuing hall passes to students for the final class periods.

In a letter to families, Cardinal Heights Acting Principal Anne Fischer told them she intended to use the session to “reinforce expectations, layout our school response, and reiterate our commitment to safety.” She added that the administration will be working with staff to maintain a safe learning environment and noted the school’s relationship with the Sun Prairie Police Dept.

Fischer also asked families to talk to their respective students about getting to class on-time and following the school rules.

Both Fischer’s letter and a Facebook post by Sun Prairie police acknowledged rumors that one of Monday’s confrontations involved a weapon. SPPD’s post stated its officers did not find a weapon or indication that any student had one during the altercations.

The Sun Prairie Police Department noticed several comments on social media about alleged incidents that occurred today...

Posted by Sun Prairie Police Department on Monday, September 13, 2021

Discussing the threat, Fischer wrote that students “made inappropriate verbal threats” that were addressed immediately by administrators and police, adding that “[w]e want to reassure you and our students that there was no actual threat to safety at the time.”

In discussing its multiple responses to the fights, the SPPD also noted that no officer displayed or deployed a taser in any of the incidents. Fischer explained that the additional officers were summoned to the school at the request of the Student Resource Officer during the altercations.

Fischer added that after the 5th block, the school imposed a hold, thereby keeping students in place in their classrooms for the rest of the day, before dismissing at the normal time.

NBC15 spoke with a parent, Brittany Hensler, who said she’s concerned about her son, and his classmates’ safety. Hensler is asking the school district to be more transparent with communication while events unfold.

“As a parent, this is our worst nightmare,” Hensler said. “I think children should be able to go to school and feel safe and learn and have that environment to do so and I don’t know what it’ll take for schools to realize that something needs to be done.”

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