BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. — What started out as a normal graduation ceremony at Bonner Springs High School was interrupted by three people watching in the audience on Thursday night.
None of the graduating seniors were involved– and now those who were there hope this isn’t what sticks out when they look back on this day. Now, many people are upset that everyone is talking about the fight instead of focusing on the accomplishments of the graduating class.
“Everybody jumped up, there was a whole bunch of people there, at least 1,000,” says Connie Galvan, whose grandson graduated Thursday night.
She says about an hour in, the fight — all caught on camera — broke out.
“Somebody jumped from the stands into this area,” Galvan said. “My husband jumped up, and I did to, and I said what happened? What`s going on?”
According to the school resource officer, Anthony Davis, the brawl ended quickly.
“Officers got involved; we broke it up, separated the individuals and arrested them, and charged them with disorderly conduct,” Davis said. “We acted immediately, it was like seconds.”
“My throat was like… da, da, da, da …I was really scared,” added Galvan as she banged on her chest.
The school principal, Joe Hornback, says the fight involved one underclassman and two others who were not students.
“The worst part about it is our kids who graduated last night didn`t deserve that,” said Hornback.
Hornback says he thinks the fight was from an out-of-school incident that got carried over to a public place.
“High school graduation is a big event in their life, and to have something like that occur at it and define it, I thought, was pretty disrespectful,” Hornback added.
Hornback announced they wouldn’t let the actions of a few impact the current graduates, and got back to the ceremony as quickly as they could.
“Unfortunately today we`re not talking about all the great kids that graduated last night, but we`re talking about a few people who chose to make a poor choice and have a negative impact on their event,” Hornback said.
Hornback says he hopes this fight doesn’t overshadow what’s really important. He also says the one current student is subject to the disciplinary policies of the district, they are in the process of working through that with that student now.
The school resource officer says they are working on making improvements to prevent this type of thing from happening again.
Statement from District Superintendent:
During last night’s graduation ceremony an altercation occurred among a couple members of the audience. The incident stemmed from an issue outside of school. There were no members of the graduating class involved. With the help of the Bonner Springs Police Department and an officer from the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department who is a current Board of Education member, the issue was quickly diffused and caused only a brief interruption of the ceremony.
Dan Brungardt, Superintendent
Unified School District 204