Woodlawn High evacuated twice for firecracker, fires

October 28, 2004|By Sara Neufeld | Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

Woodlawn High School was evacuated twice yesterday, the first time after a firecracker was set off in a stairwell and then after small fires were set in two trash cans, police and school district officials said.

Administrators were breaking up a fight among four girls in the cafeteria about 7:45 a.m. when someone set off at least one firecracker in a stairwell, creating smoke, according to police and school district officials.

About 10:30 a.m., two small fires were set in trash cans, said Baltimore County school district spokesman Charles A. Herndon. One trash can was in a bathroom, Herndon said. He did not know the location of the other.

Students said the first evacuation lasted about 45 minutes, the second about a half-hour.

Herndon said that after the incidents, "the school took steps that were necessary to keep the focus on the instructional program." Students said teachers locked their classroom doors at the beginning of each period, and students remaining in the halls received detention.

Police made no arrests, , and no one was injured, said county police spokesman Bill Toohey.

In an unrelated matter, Baltimore County prosecutors have decided not to press charges against a boy whom a Woodlawn student accused of raping her this month, Toohey said. Attempts to obtain comment from the county state's attorney's office last night were unsuccessful.

The girl had left the school with two boys Oct. 13, police said. She told police that one of the boys had sex with her while she was drunk. County police had sent their findings to the state's attorney without making an arrest, Toohey said.

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