8 arrested after brawl breaks out at Cleveland kindergarten graduation
(CNN) — The words “kindergarten graduation” usually evoke images of tearful parents taking pictures of cute kids in pint-sized graduation caps and gowns.
But for students and parents at Michael R. White Elementary School in Cleveland, “kindergarten graduation” might now conjure images of “aggravated rioting.”
This, after eight individuals were arrested Friday morning after a fight near the end of the school’s graduation ceremony.
Officers were dispatched after receiving reports of gunfire, according to a statement from the Cleveland Police Department.
As it turned out, there was no gunfire or guns confiscated. But people were going at it after an altercation between two teen girls apparently broke out, Detective Jennifer Ciaccia said.
“We assume they were there for the graduation ceremony,” she said. “Several adults then got involved.”
Cleveland Police Commander Wayne Drummond was one of the first responding officers to the scene.
He told CNN affiliate WEWS that the initial feud prompted family members on both sides to get involved.
“It’s an absolute shame,” said Drummond. “That something as good as a graduation ceremony, a promotion ceremony, is marred by the actions of a few.”
Drummond said the school was put on lockdown to “make sure the kids were OK.”
Roseann Canfora, spokeswoman for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, said no students at Michael R. White Elementary were involved in the fight.
A hammer and a stick were taken as evidence, although neither was believed to be used in the fight.
Eight people were arrested on suspicion of aggravated rioting, police said.
Police say the incident will be further investigated.