After videos of a brawl amongst students from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and Walter Johnson High School circulated on social media on Saturday, the principals from both schools wrote a joint letter to the community calling the student’s behaviors “dangerous, illegal and completely inappropriate.”
According to the letter, written by B-CC principal Shelton Mooney and Walter Johnson principal Jennifer Baker, the fight occurred Friday night, after the first football game of the fall season played at B-CC’s field. The principals did not say if any players on the football teams were involved in the fight.
The letter states, there was a large gathering near the Bethesda Metro Station by students from both high schools. “This gathering turned into fighting, which then resulted in some serious student injuries. This is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” the principals wrote.
Videos of the fight were posted on social media sites, including X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram. The circulated clips show a group of students kicking and punching one person huddled on the sidewalk, and another student being punched and kicked and falling onto the road. At the scene it appears some students stood close by to film and watch the fight break down.
Content warning: This video contains graphic violence.
In the letter, the principals state that the Montgomery County Police Department responded to the incident and are currently investigating.
MCPD spokesperson Shiera Goff said in an email to MoCo360 that the incident was not noted in their duty commander report for Friday night, but the video circulating social media was brought to the attention of police Saturday morning.
She added that a Walter Johnson student and a parent went to the District 2 police station at approximately 10 p.m. Friday night to file a report that he was assaulted and had his shoes stolen.
According to Goff, extra police officers had been assigned to the area because of the football game and police were dispatched to calls for thefts, robbery and assaults on Friday night.
Although the incident occurred near the metro, the Metro Transit Police did not respond to the incident. MTPD spokesperson Ian Janette told MoCo360, “I’m not seeing any reports of that nature from yesterday.”
In the email Goff said that there are more juveniles coming forward on Saturday who are reporting to police that they had also been assaulted during Friday night’s brawl. She said this is an active investigation.
School administrators are also investigating the incident and students that are identified will face disciplinary actions in alignment with the Montgomery County Public School’s Code of Conduct, the letter states.
According to the Code of Conduct, engaging in a fight can result in varying levels of disciplinary responses. Engaging in a fight that may be large and/or results in major injuries, or engaging in behavior that intentionally causes serious bodily injury or loss of consciousness, can come with more severe disciplinary actions such as in-school suspension, short- and long-term suspension or expulsion.
Additionally, the principals wrote that there has been mention on social media that a student may have been in possession of a weapon. This claim has not been confirmed but will be part of the investigation into the brawl, according to the community letter.
The varsity football game ended with the B-CC Barons losing 21-14 to Walter Johnson Wildcats, according to a post by B-CC Athletics on X. Per a post by MCPS Athletics Director Jeff Sulivan on X, the game was sold out.
“The game went well and was an exciting match. Our fans and attendees were great and everyone seemed to have a fun evening,” the joint letter states. “The safety plans jointly made by both schools worked well on campus and all of the fans left school grounds safely.”
More information will be sent out to the B-CC and Walter Johnson high school communities as administrators from both schools assist MCPS security, MCPS athletics and police with the ongoing investigation “and to help repair the harm that has been done,” according to the letter.
“Together we must help our students understand how such disruptive actions impact our community,” the principals concluded.