Juice, potatoes and corn flew during a food fight that resulted in a student being charged with second-degree disorderly conduct Thursday at Bryan Station High School.
The food fight caused a stir because at least 10 police cruisers went to the school after it was announced over the Lexington police radio system that there was a "major disturbance" at Bryan Station.
Principal Gladys Peoples said the chaos started after a fire alarm went off during the school's first lunch period, prompting evacuation of the school. Officials said they think the fire alarm malfunctioned.
When the students returned to the building, the second lunch period had begun. Peoples estimated nearly 700 students were in the cafeteria.
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"So it was very crowded. We had a food fight. And tempers flared. And there were some fistfights," school district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said. "We also had a fight on the second floor that was related to the food fight." She said that fight began after a student had gotten upset about being hit by food in the cafeteria.
But Peoples said later that the food fight was the only fight that took place Thursday. The report of a second fight turned out to be an argument, which adults from the school stepped in to handle, she said. She also said there were "no altercations where fists were thrown." Peoples said one student was struck accidentally by another student throwing food, who turned around and apologized.
Mike McKenzie, director of high schools for Fayette County Public Schools, said the substantial response from Lexington police was a precaution.
He said "at least one" of the school district police officers stationed at the school was out sick Thursday, "so what happens is a food fight starts, and an officer called for assistance, just in case," McKenzie said.
Several parents went to the school to pick up their children.
"They started a food fight, and it didn't end," said LaRon Wingate, a student who was leaving the school as police milled around the front lobby.
Peoples said she will send a letter about the incident home with students Friday. Four students face disciplinary action by the school, and the number could grow as officials investigate.
Peoples said one student was charged with second-degree disorderly conduct for not listening to officers' directions. The charges will be handled in juvenile court.