Up to 100 Involved in Massive High School Brawl, Prompting Lockdown

A fight of enormous proportions broke out at an Ohio high school, reported the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, leading to a major disturbance in the early morning hours of the school day.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, the incident at Galloway's Westland High School began on Wednesday around 8:20 a.m. local time. The conflict was reportedly prompted by a "neighborhood incident" the night before. As many as 100 people are said to have been involved in the brawl, either as direct participants or spectators.

The news comes at a time when schools nationwide are readjusting to in-person learning. The transition appears to be yielding mixed results, as rising infection rates, mask mandates, and vaccination requirements bring chaos and controversy to schools across the country.

After months, if not years, of remote learning, the situation's uncertainty is undoubtedly felt by students: at least one high school, for example, has reported a rise in behavioral issues related to the return of in-person schooling, prompting a temporary return to virtual learning.

While the precise catalyst for the Westland High School fight remained unclear, the conflict soon involved dozens, prompting deputies to respond.

As Franklin County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Maureen Kocot explained to The Columbus Dispatch, authorities used pepper spray to break up the giant fight. Meanwhile, students were evacuated to the school's recreation center.

Circulating in the fight's aftermath were several rumors of heightened violence—namely, that someone had been stabbed in the scuffle or that shots were fired. However, Kocot explained that these allegations were not true, noting that the fight involved no known weapons.

Only one student was taken to receive medical attention, and that was for pepper spray exposure—not for an injury sustained via fighting.

Meanwhile, students believed to have been involved in the fight were "removed from school" and detained for questioning.

"We are confident that we can continue to provide instruction to our students for the remainder of today and in the days to come in a safe school learning environment," read an email sent by the school to parents, per The Columbus Dispatch. "As a precautionary measure, we will have an increased law enforcement presence at our school."

The brief lockdown was lifted after the situation was brought under control. By 10:24 a.m., a Twitter post from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office reported students had returned to their classes.

Newsweek has reached out to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and Westland High School's principal for additional comment.

High School Lockers
A massive fight, involving around 100 people, broke out at an Ohio high school. A row of lockers in a New Jersey high school. James Leynse/Corbis/Getty Images