Two Wausau students suspended in racially-charged fight - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Two Wausau students suspended in racially-charged fight

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Wausau East High Principal Brad Peck says two students have been suspended following a fight in the school cafeteria that was prompted by some "very racist" comments written on Facebook following an earlier incident.

Peck sent a letter home to parents trying to explain what happened and to diffuse fears of racial tensions and violence in the school, he said Monday.

"I want you to know these incidents involved a very small number of students," Peck wrote. "Unfortunately, the information surrounding these incidents - and the number of students involved - has been distorted by students through Facebook and other social media." 

According to Peck, a "verbal altercation" between a boy and a girl Feb. 8 in the cafeteria prompted some "very racist" comments on Facebook.

Last Friday, a student was punched in the face by another student in an attempt to retaliate against those comments, Peck said. Police were called and a sophomore and junior were suspended following the incident, he said.

The fight involved a minority student, the principal said, declining to elaborate.

Peck says tensions escalated because the facts of the Feb. 8 incident were "extremely distorted" and some lies were published in the Facebook posts.

"It just takes on a life of its own," he said.

The students involved in the incidents were suspended because violence and racially-charged language will not tolerated at the school, Peck said.

Wausau Deputy Police Chief Bryan Hilts said Monday that police responded to the school fight and an 18-year-old student was arrested. 

Hilts said they are working closely with the school district to make sure this doesn't happen again. 

"We will also probably increase our presence a little bit while there's some heightened tensions in the school," said Hilts. 

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