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Police called after ‘altercations’ at Alexandria City High School

Alexandria police at Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard Campus on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 (staff photo by James Cullum)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) Police responded to “student altercations” today at Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard campus but the incidents did not result in a lockdown, the school’s principal wrote in an email to parents on Monday afternoon.

Three juveniles were arrested for obstruction of justice. No students went to the hospital or were reported injured, police said.

Principal Peter Balas said that the regular school schedule was interrupted as police and school administrators “assured the safety of all students and staff in the building after the events.”

“This afternoon, there was additional police presence at the Alexandria City High School Minnie Howard campus resulting from student altercations,” Balas wrote. “The campus resumed a regular schedule at 1:15 p.m. once the situation was addressed.”

Balas continued, “As a precaution, the Alexandria Police Department (APD) was called for assistance in the event that additional support might be needed. Just to clarify, the building was not placed on lockdown or secure the building status which some members of the school community mistakenly posted on social media channels.”

ACHS is the largest high school in Virginia and began this year with new security upgrades for students and staff. There were 82 incidents in the 2021-2022 year at the school that required a police response, and 14 students were arrested.

Last month, after a visit to the school from Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, Mayor Justin Wilson and School Board Chair Jacinta Greene affirmed in a letter the “close partnership between our school division, Alexandria Police Department and other agencies that promote the well-being of children.”