City school scene of five fires, fight that hurts employee

School officials to take safety and support measures at Friendship Academy of Science and Technology

April 25, 2013|By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

City school officials said they will take extra security measures at a Southeast Baltimore charter school after five fires were set this week at the school, which also had an altercation that injured an administrator and a student arrest.

Officials said they will increase the presence of school police officers and district staff at the Friendship Academy of Science and Technology Middle/High School, which they acknowledged has had "significant safety issues" this week.

Among them were five trash-can fires — two Wednesday and three Thursday.

"While they're small, trash-can fires, we certainly take all of them seriously because they can spread," said Jonathan Brice, the district's School Support Networks Officer.

Brice also said that a staff member at the school was injured and taken to a local hospital after he attempted to break up an altercation.

Brice could not confirm what injuries the staff member sustained.

But, according to an email obtained by The Baltimore Sun, the school's principal informed staff that the administrator broke his leg and required surgery.

A student was also arrested by Baltimore City Police, who patrol the perimeter of the school, during an evacuation, Brice said.

Brice said that several measures would take place at the school, including grade-level meetings and increased presence of support staff from central headquarters and the school's charter operator.

He also said that "routine protocol" would include screening students and providing extra support to the school Friday and in the coming weeks.

"We want to make sure that our young people and school staff continue to feel they can come to school, and teaching and learning can take place," Brice said.

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