Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 5:42 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, to include a statement from the Northwest and Gaithersburg high school principals
Montgomery County Public Schools has temporarily suspended the football teams at Gaithersburg High School and Northwest High School in Germantown after a fight broke out between the two teams during a game Friday night.
The teams were playing at Gaithersburg High School when Gaithersburg and Montgomery County police responded about 8:20 p.m. to a report of a fight between them. According to a Facebook post by Gaithersburg police, other physical altercations occurred while officers were addressing the fight. One person was arrested after someone was found with a knife, and a few other people believed to be involved in the fight were taken into custody and “will be charged accordingly,” police said in the post.
One school staff member sustained a non-life-threatening injury and was treated by medical personnel. One police officer was assaulted but did not require medical care, and one victim was treated for lacerations, according to the post.
In a statement Saturday, MCPS condemned the violence and announced both football teams would be suspended temporarily during the investigation.
“MCPS strongly condemns the abhorrent and unacceptable behavior that occurred at the football game last night … between Northwest and Gaithersburg at Gaithersburg High School. The district is swiftly moving to develop and implement enhanced measures for safety at any athletic event and will communicate those to our community in the coming days,” the statement says.
“As agreed upon by MCPS and both schools, all football operations at those two schools will be suspended temporarily, to assist in the ongoing investigation. The district will pursue disciplinary actions against any individuals who are found to have participated in this large altercation, while working to bring communities together around the importance of upholding safe and respectful environments,” the statement said.
Late Saturday afternoon, Northwest High School Principal Scott Smith and Gaithersburg High School Principal Cary Dimmick released a joint statement on social media condemning the students’ behavior.
“We wish to be very clear that together we strongly condemn this unacceptable behavior that occurred at the football game. This disrespectful and dangerous behavior is not what we model and communicate to our students and must not be tolerated. Fighting, and causing physical and emotional injury, is in no way an appropriate way to solve conflict,” the statement says.
“We ask all those involved or who witnessed this event to consider what could have happened had our police partners, security personnel and school staff not acted so quickly to de-escalate this incident. Following a thorough investigation, disciplinary actions against any individuals (students or adults) who are found to have participated in these actions will be issued. As agreed upon by both MCPS and our respective schools, to assist in the ongoing investigations, all football operations at both schools will be suspended temporarily,” the statement says.