Police officers, school officials and the general community of Vancouver, Washington are shocked after an eighth-grade basketball game at Gaiser Middle School turned into a violent riot. Authorities were forced to arrest at least nine minors involved in the ordeal, and the school has made 27 emergency suspensions of students suspected of participating in a riot.
The whole ordeal began on March 15th during a basketball tournament. According to the school’s security officers, a fight broke out between two students in the stands. The officers took both students outside of the gymnasium. As they moved the two students outside, a group of other students began following them. More and more students joined in and attempted to interfere with the security officers.
The officers were forced to call for backup once they realized they were surrounded by 60 to 70 students. Officers requested assistance from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and also asked that the basketball tournament be canceled. The kids became increasingly hostile and started shouting threats and racial slurs towards them.
Once backup arrived, at least nine students were apprehended. One student allegedly resisted and punched an officer. The students arrested, who all range in age from 13 to 15, are facing serious charges including a failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, third-degree and fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest.
The police and school officials are continuing to investigate the situation. When school reconvened on Monday, 27 additional students were served with emergency expulsions. These emergency suspensions last for ten days until the school makes a final decision on what type of punishment is appropriate.