'Large fight' being gang-related at Sumter High School was rumor, officials say


A "large fight" that broke out in the Sumter High School cafeteria Wednesday afternoon was "not gang related," a school district spokeswoman said.
The Sumter Item received a news tip about the incident. Shelly Galloway, executive director of communication and community engagement for Sumter School District, said an affiliation with one or more gangs was a rumor.
The school’s principal, Nicholas Pearson, sent parents a telephone message via Edulink “in an effort to maintain transparency.” The message was provided to The Sumter Item by Galloway.
Pearson informed parents that at around noon, several students were involved in a “physical altercation” in the cafeteria and that “no weapons were involved.” He continued that the matter was quickly addressed and resolved by school personnel and law enforcement.
Administration is taking action in accordance with laws governed by the state and the Sumter School District Code of Conduct, he said.
An increase in law enforcement would remain at the school for the remainder of the day as a precautionary measure, he said.
Pearson ended the message by asking students and parents to partner with the school to keep its students and staff safe.
“The safety of our students and staff is our first priority. We would like to remind our students that if they are experiencing difficulties, there are supports available to provide them with assistance. While we know that conflict is a part of life, we must teach our children to engage in a respectful manner when they disagree with one another,” he said. “We hope our parents will continue to partner with us so that our students are not only safe, but they are also learning.”