REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH) — Panic broke out at the Reynoldsburg High School Homecoming dance on Saturday night when, according to Reynoldsburg City Schools, a fight broke out and police officers had to use pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
Reynoldsburg junior Kairi Seger said everyone was having fun and dancing at the field house of Reynoldsburg High School – Livingston Campus until about 9:15 p.m. when the fight started and chaos ensued.
“I remember everyone starting to disperse and then running again and then coming over the announcements saying to evacuate,” Seger said. “So that’s when I started to actively try and leave and people were running and trying to push me over.”
A panicked Seger said she called her parents and they picked her up within minutes.
“I looked at the time on my phone and it was 9:19 I got that phone call,” Seger’s mother Tonya Geier said. “It’s sheer panic in her voice. This is not the first time I’ve heard that from this school building and all I heard was ‘Come and get me, come and get me now.’”
The school district said some students were claiming there were shots fired at the dance, but police did not find evidence of a weapon.
The district says balloons popped and people confused the noise for gunshots.
“These kids don’t feel safe,” Grier said. “These kids don’t walk into the school building and go, ‘I know I can get my education and not worry about my safety.’ It’s infuriating.”
Seger said she feels like her district could do more when it comes to safety measures.
“That was terrifying and unnecessary,” she said. “It should never have happened, and even if there was never a weapon involved, how it was handled should not have been handled that way. It was a mess, it was chaos and it was scary.”
Reynoldsburg City Schools said the incident is still under investigation. Extra police officers were at both campuses Monday as a precaution.
Scott Bennett, principal of Reynoldsburg High School, said in a letter to parents that some of the students involved in Saturday’s incident have been identified and that those students will not be allowed on school grounds as the investigation continues.