Baltimore's school superintendent scheduled meetings today with Hampstead Hill Middle School students and their parents after more than 100 children were suspended yesterday.
The mass suspension followed a fight between two boys that deteriorated into a continuing disruption inside the East Baltimore school.
Superintendent Walter G. Amprey ordered the meetings after he criticized the decision to suspend the sixth-graders. An unidentified assistant principal, with several teachers in support, decided to send the students home until Monday with a letter detailing their conduct.
"Dr. Amprey felt that [the mass suspension] was not the proper decision," school spokeswoman Jackie Hardy said today.
She would not comment on whether Hampstead's principal, Margaret Wicks, was involved in the decision. Hardy said she did not know the name of the official who sent the children home.
"The fight started in the morning and spread throughout the school during the day," Hardy said. "Things were rapidly getting out of control. Teachers had to restore order."
The disturbance followed by two days a visit to the school by Expedito "Pedro" Lugo, who was nearly beaten to death with a baseball bat by youths in Patterson Park. One of the assailants was said to have been a Hampstead Hill student.
That beating brought to the surface a continuing problem between the students and area residents who complained of rowdy behavior by the children.
With Lugo's visit, "we thought we had begun a new era of peace and harmony," Hardy said.