A brawl broke out at a kindergarten graduation ceremony in Cincinnati Monday morning that ended up with the Springfield Township school being locked down.
The brawl took place at Mt. Healthy North Elementary School’s cafeteria where the parents and friends gathered for punch and cookies to celebrate the graduation of 150 kindergarteners. Allegedly, the fighting began when Raymond Walker, 33, approached Dominique Garrett, the boyfriend of his child’s mother, and punched him. Police have charged Walker with assault and inducing panic for allegedly starting the melee, according to WCPO.
Before long, there was pushing, shoving, and, eventually, fists flying. There were about 20 people involved in the fighting, according to witnesses. No injuries were reported.
Lori Handler, Mt. Healthy Schools’ Superintendent, had to lock-down the school so that no other visitor who wandered into the building became involved in the violence. “It was a beautiful ceremony, with grandparents, parents, the five-year-olds … then out of the blue, the man hit another man in the face. I was absolutely shocked.”
She added that the fight was mainly between Walker and Garrett, and wasn’t an all-out fight involving multiple people. Springfield Police Sergeant Scott Hughes, however, disagreed. “This was more than just a couple people fighting,” he said.
Kim Calai, a parent whose child took part in the graduation, is still reeling from all that took place. “I’m standing there, and all of a sudden, this rush of people throwing punches is coming at me … To have something like that happen at a graduation is pretty pathetic,” she said.
Walker left the scene before the cops arrived, but the school district intends on prosecuting those responsible for the fracas.
“We are sending a strong message that you cannot act that way around five-year-old children,” Handler said.