BARRE — Police are investigating a Wednesday afternoon altercation involving several Spaulding High School students — one who alleges he was called a racial slur — that occurred not far from the Ayers Street campus shortly after school was dismissed.
Police Chief Brad Vail confirmed police were called to the scene of a fight that he said involved 10 or so Spaulding High School students.
Police are actively investigating the incident, he confirmed.
Though initial reports suggested 20 people were involved, Vail said many were bystanders and the altercation involved students. He said it appears to have stemmed from harassment that occurred earlier in the day.
“I don’t know if it was racially motivated,” said Vail, who confirmed one of the students involved told police he was the target of a “racial slur.” Per department protocol, that allegation had been referred to the civil rights division of the Attorney General’s Office.
Vail said the student who claimed he was called a racial slur was taken to the emergency room at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin on Wednesday, but there were no other known injuries.
Vail said police are working with school officials to sort out what happened.
“As of yet, there hasn’t been any charges, but I suspect there will be,” he said.
Vail said charges could range from disorderly conduct and simple assault to simple assault by mutual affray. It would be helpful, he said, if one of the onlookers had recorded the incident on a cellphone — a possibility police are exploring, he said.
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