Police used chemical spray in breaking up melee involving more than 200 students.
Somali-Americans blamed racial tensions for a Minneapolis high school cafeteria melee that began as a food fight and ended with police using chemical spray to break up a brawl involving more than 200 students.
Three students and one staff member at South High School were taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. No weapons were used, police said.
Students threw food, plates and soda bottles at staff and police — “anything they could get their hands on,” police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The fight began about 12:45 p.m. CT and lasted 15 minutes. It was captured on video.
No arrests were made, but police were reviewing surveillance footage, and rioting and disorderly conduct charges could be filed, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
Classes resumed Friday, but the school, which has about 2,200 students, remained on lockdown.
On Tuesday, the student newspaper carried an article in which Somali-American students said racial and ethnic tensions had grown this year.
“This school is not safe for Somali students,” Adnan Farah, a junior, told the Star-Tribune. “Throughout this year, there have been a lot of fights.”
A school district spokesman would not comment but said racism complaints are taken seriously.
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