Police: Brawl at Wheaton North stemmed from social media dispute
A brawl at Wheaton North High School that led to felony charges against seven students stemmed from a dispute that started on social media, police said Thursday.
The seven teenage girls are facing mob action charges after the fight broke out in a hallway near the school cafeteria at 7 a.m. Tuesday, about 20 minutes before the start of classes.
One girl had a pocketknife, another had a sock filled with batteries and a third had a sock containing a can of green beans, according to prosecutors.
All three also are charged with unlawful use of a weapon. One of the students also is charged with aggravated battery of a teacher.
There was no indication the fight was gang-related, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief P.J. Youker said.
"The fight was a result of a dispute which started on social media," Youker said in an email.
The students are not being identified by name because they are juveniles.
The fight brought a police response from four jurisdictions. Teachers and administrators dispersed students along with police officers from Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Carol Stream and DuPage sheriff's deputies.
The fight resulted in an injury to a teacher and minor injuries to the students, Youker said. The teacher had to seek medical treatment.
In notes sent to parents, Principal Matt Biscan said the school was placed in "secure and teach" mode, meaning students and staff remained in classrooms and continued normal activities while police and administrators investigated.
"This type of behavior does not represent the school culture that we are proud of at Wheaton North," Biscan wrote. "We will continue to work with all students to help guide them in their decision making. School, parents, and community can work together to make a positive impact on all our students."
A Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 spokeswoman would not comment on the nature of any school discipline against the students.
At a detention hearing Wednesday, DuPage County Judge Anthony Coco ordered all seven students to be fitted with a GPS monitoring device and then released them to the custody of their parents.