VPS principals and administrators are continuing to investigate basketball incident

Superintendent Steve Webb: ‘The behavior displayed on Friday night will not be tolerated, and every student involved will be held accountable’

VANCOUVER — Vancouver Public Schools’ principals and administrators are continuing to investigate who was involved in a disturbance at an all-district eighth-grade basketball tournament that resulted in nine students being arrested.

The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. Fri., March 15, at Gaiser Middle School, the school hosting the tournament. The incident began with one student confronting another student in the stands. District security officers saw the confrontation and moved immediately to remove the students from the gym. Several students followed them into the hallway and interfered as two security staff members were taking the two students from the building.

The crowd grew larger as more students from multiple district schools followed outside and continued to interfere with the actions of security staff. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office was called, the tournament was canceled and students were asked to leave the premises. As more students joined the crowd, shouting and refusing to leave, additional law enforcement officers were called to the scene.

Nine students were arrested on various charges including trespass, fail to disperse, assault IV, assault III, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Those students are emergency expelled. They are from multiple schools and are not allowed on any school campus. Privacy laws prevent the district from sharing more specific details about those students.

“School administrators are reviewing video of the incident and will respond with appropriate disciplinary actions,” said Superintendent Steve Webb. “The behavior displayed on Friday night will not be tolerated, and every student involved will be held accountable.

“Providing safe and supportive schools is our top priority,” said Webb. “We continue to work hard every day to maintain a respectful and nurturing environment, and we ask parents to be partners in this ongoing effort.”

This morning VPS sent an email to parents of all VPS middle school students to update them on the incident. The district also has taken additional measures, including dispatching extra district resource officers to schools, to ensure the safety of students in all of its schools.

March 18, 2019

Dear VPS middle school families:

Vancouver Public Schools’ principals and administrators are investigating a disturbance at an all-district eighth-grade basketball tournament that resulted in nine students being arrested. The incident happened on Friday night at Gaiser Middle School and involved students from several district schools.

The disturbance began when a student was asked to leave the school gym because he confronted another student. Other students then became involved in the conflict. They disrupted the tournament and refused to follow the direction of district staff and law enforcement personnel.

The students who were arrested were emergency expelled over the weekend. They are from multiple schools and are not allowed on any school campus. Privacy laws prevent us from sharing more specific details about those students. However, we will hold all the involved students accountable for their behavior, and we will respond with appropriate disciplinary actions.

We want to assure you that we are taking additional measures, including dispatching extra district resource officers to schools, to ensure the safety of our students in all of our schools. Providing safe and supportive schools is a top priority. We continue to work hard every day to maintain a respectful and nurturing environment, and we ask parents to be partners in this ongoing effort.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school principal.

Patricia Nuzzo
Communications Director
Vancouver Public Schools
pat.nuzzo@vansd.org
360-313-1230

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