A Sheffield school was put on lockdown yesterday after a fight escalated into a full scale riot.
Police were called to Fir Vale School on Owler Lane shortly before 1pm, following reports of an altercation between groups of pupils.
On arrival, officers were greeted with a chaotic scene, with hundreds of parents and residents filling the streets surrounding the school.
Some parents had reportedly taken weapons with them, and many tried to scale the school fences to gain access to the building.
Eyewitness, Nasser Raoof, aged 32, whose nephews attend the school, spoke of what he saw.
He said: “I was here about 45 minutes ago and there were parents trying to get into the school with bats. There were dozens of people trying to climb the fence to get in.
“When they released the children there was a tussle and the dog handler let his dog on a parent which bit him in the hand”
“My daughter was looking to come here but she won’t be coming now.”
Local businessman, Waheed Nazir, aged 49, said the situation was ‘ridiculous’.
“Parents can not take things into their own hands and come to school in a mob,” he said.
“Kids will fight, we’ve all seen it, let’s leave it to them and the teachers and if the parents need to be called in as individuals or families fair enough.
“But you do not come from home with weapons with your friends and family and attack a school as though it is some kind of warzone or something.
“The gates were locked and they climbed over them – that is how bad it got.”
Police later revealed one student suffered minor injuries during the incident and was treated at the scene.
They said the incident was ‘resolved quickly’ but that officers had remained in the area for ‘reassurance’.
Superintendent Shelley Hemsley said: “The school acted quickly and efficiently in dealing with the initial incident and then calling us.
“I’d also like to make it absolutely clear that we have had no reports of weapons being seen or involved in the incident and reports of only one person suffering a very minor injury.
“We will of course be reviewing CCTV footage of the incident, and particularly of the crowds gathered outside of the school and any subsequent criminality which comes to light will be investigated.”
The school’s headteacher, Simon Hawkins, later confirmed school would open on Wednesday ‘as normal’ and that special assemblies were planned.
He said: “We are continuing to work with the police in relation to this incident, which was resolved quickly and efficiently and I’d like to reassure parents and students that Fir Vale School is a happy, calm and safe environment.”
However, another parent, who preferred not to be named, said she felt the school – and the area – were being ‘let down’.
“I’d rather send my kids somewhere else but I have no choice,” she said.
“The police and council do nothing and it is getting worse – they have completely turned away from what is happening in this area. They just leave us to it.”
Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP, Gill Furniss, said that there were undoubtedly ‘challenges’ in the area, but that she was ‘absolutely committed’ to making it a safe place to live and work.
She said: “I will be urgently meeting with the school to offer them my support and I will also be discussing this with the police and others to ensure that everything is being done to ensure that Fir Vale school remains a safe place for pupils to study.”