By Pat Pratt
MADISON COUNTY, Illinois (KMOV) — Prosecutors in Madison County, Illinois, on Thursday charged 26 students in a school fight in late August at Alton High School.
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine said in a news release the charges vary from disorderly conduct to mob action to aggravated battery of a peace officer. Twenty-four of the students charged were juveniles and two students were charged as adults.
“It is a tragedy whenever the criminal justice system becomes the appropriate tool to punish students for actions that occur in school,” Haine said. “But where necessary, we will use all tools the law offers to ensure the safety of our schools. Our schools must be protected from crime and violence. Period.”
While juvenile charges are sealed under Illinois law, the two adults charged were Precious Holloway, 18, who was charged with aggravated battery of a school employee and A’Marie Robinson, 18, who was charged with aggravated battery at a public place and mob action.
The series of fights broke out on Aug. 30 and led to the cancelation of classes the following day and virtual learning the day after, a Friday. The football game that night was also limited to family members of players, band members and cheerleaders.
It is believed the fights were spurred by events off campus that erupted in the hallways. However, specific details on the motives of the alleged assailants were not immediately available.
The incidents also spurred school officials to install metal detectors on campus. However, Haine said in the release Thursday that, contrary to reports on social media and websites, the investigation found no weapons on any individual’s person, nor were weapons used in the commission of the alleged crimes.
“We will continue to work with parents, school officials and community leaders moving forward,” Haine said. “Together, we can ensure that our schools are secure environments where children can learn and grow without fear for their personal safety.”
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