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.
"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.