ONTARIO (CBSLA) — A wild brawl involving as many as a dozen students rocked the Chaffey High School campus on Wednesday.
Seven students were kept home Thursday. But some students said they might not be the only ones at fault in the brawl.
Many students witnessed the melee when it broke out during lunch Wednesday but weren’t exactly sure what they were seeing.
“I didn’t know what was going on at the time; I didn’t know who was fighting who, who caused it or nothing,” said Sebastian Fricke.
It was only later that many students found out the person being taken to the ground in the video is a cafeteria worker at the school.
“I was just really shocked because I didn’t think people were really that cruel,” said student Melanie Espinoza.
Several students said the cafeteria worker instigated the fight after complaining about trash on the ground.
“We were just chilling, man, and he decided to come and he decided to tell us rudely to pick up our trash. And most of us didn’t really pay attention to him,” said student Jonathan Mercado.
In the video, it appears that words are exchanged. Then the cafeteria worker is shown pushing one of the students.
“He shoved one of us, and we tried to get him out of the way, then he ended up swinging at one of us,” says Mercado.
“If he would have just walked away, that probably wouldn’t have happened. Because he’s a grown adult, he should have known better to just walk away instead of pushing,” said Jared Winslow, a student.
Mathew Holton, the superintendent of Chaffey Joint Union High School District, said campus police were able to get the situation under control quickly without anyone suffering significant injuries.
In a statement, he said: “The district with assistance from the Ontario Police Department is conducting a full investigation. The employee has been placed on administrative leave.”
Many wondered how the incident will affect the way the school is perceived.
“I can already imagine what the rumors are going to be, that Chaffey is really bad, we don’t want our kids there,” said Espinoza.
“I think it was a one time thing. I still like this school; it’s still a really good school,” said Fricke.
Several students said they found a larger security presence around the school Wednesday. No notes were sent home with parents about the fighting.