LUMBERTON — The principal of Lumberton High School said this mornig that there have no no safety issues at the school since an afternoon brawl on Tuesday that involved more than a dozen students.
Five students were arrested at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Detective Pete Locklear of the Lumberton Police Department, prompting an additional police presence at the school Wednesday. Police presence at the school today “is limited,” according to Larry Obeda, the principal of Lumberton High School.
The five students arrested were John Brown, 17, of 499 Quail Run Road; Davon Lewis, 18, of 127 Quail Run Road; Travon McArthur, 16, of 3650 Meadowview Road; Derek McDuffie, 17, of 127 Quail Run Road; and Asandi McMillan, 16, of 1390 Snake Road. Bond for each student was set at $500.
When a reporter for The Robesonian visited the school Wednesday, three officers were standing at the main entrance, and several were easily visible inside. There were several police cars at the school.
“All of our administrators are visible,” Obeda said Wednesday afternoon. “We have extra people on duty. We have people in place … . ”
Obeda said safety is paramount a the school, which has about 2,100 students, making it one of the largest in the state. He said there was not excessive absenteeism at the school on Wednesday; students are currently in an exam period.
The Robesonian received several phone calls Wednesday from people concerned about safety at the school.
“This school is safe contrary to popular belief,” Obeda said. “This is the first incident all school year. School resource officers are always in the hallway.”
Obeda said he and his staff have spoken with the parents of the students involved.
The five arrested students were not the only ones punished.
“There were quite a few students suspended because of the melee — close to 15 or 16,” Obeda said.
Dwayne Smith, a member of the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education, learned of the incident late Tuesday afternoon. He expressed confidence in the Obeda.
“He runs a tight ship,” Smith said. “He’s not going to take anything from anyone.”