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Student arrested for encouraging fights at McNeil High School, WCSO says

On Thursday, the school was placed on lockout around 12:30 p.m. after reports of a fight that occurred off-campus, according to the sheriff’s office.

AUSTIN, Texas — One student has been arrested after he confessed to encouraging fights at McNeil High School.

This comes after the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning to students at McNeil High School over a social media post on Wednesday that urged students to meet at the school’s basketball court and fight.

WCSO said Friday morning that deputies identified one of the students responsible for sending out the messages encouraging the fights. That student will be charged with inciting a riot.

On Thursday, the school was placed on lockout around 12:30 p.m. after reports of a fight that occurred off-campus, according to the sheriff’s office.

A lockout is when no one is allowed in or out of the campus, but school activities remain normal. The lockout was lifted around 1 p.m.

In an update on Thursday, the sheriff’s office said deputies initially believed there was a threat at the school, but witnesses on the scene started changing their statements.

Sheriff Robert Chody said a person circulated a photo on social media asking students to fight, which some students listened to.

“We will continue to have a police presence at the school tomorrow,” Chody said. “Any student caught fighting will be going to jail and charges will be filed to the fullest extent.”

Round Rock ISD officials gave KVUE the following letter sent to parents of McNeil High School students: 

"Dear McNeil Community, 

I communicated with you earlier today regarding our campus being placed on lockout while the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department investigated reports of suspicious activity. I wanted to provide you with more details and dispel any rumors that may be circulating.

First, it is important to know that our campus was on lockout as opposed to lockdown. A lockout is our first line of defense for situations like police activity in the area or suspicious activity. During a lockout, we make sure all students are inside our school buildings and restrict entrance and exit to the buildings. The academic day carries on largely uninterrupted during a lockout. A lockdown, however, means students and staff remain in their classrooms, classes do not change and hallways are kept clear until the lockdown is lifted.

The lockout was a result of an investigation by Sheriff’s deputies related to a fight that occurred off campus. Later in the day, we did have to deal with several fights that occurred in the school, partially due to a post on social media inciting a fight. We appreciate the assistance of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in addressing those situations. There were no weapons involved in any of the fights.

We will have increased police presence on campus tomorrow and fights will not be tolerated. Any student engaging in such behavior will face consequences, including removal from the school to alternative placement and potential arrest.

We have wonderful students at McNeil High School and they deserve a safe and welcoming learning environment. I regret that today was marred by the bad behavior of a few.

Student and staff safety is our top priority and we remain vigilant in doing everything possible to keep everyone on campus safe.Thank you for your partnership with us in maintaining campus safety. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Respectfully, 

Amanda Johnson

Principal"

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