CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has made security changes for Friday’s basketball game after a 50-student brawl happened after the game on Tuesday.
In a letter sent to Heights High School families and staff from Superintendent Liz Kirby and Principal Dr. Alisa Lawson-McKinnie on January 26, the district said these security updates were made out of an abundance of caution.
For Friday’s game, tickets will be limited to family members of Heights High School and Maple Heights High School players and cheerleaders only. Each player and cheerleader will get three tickets, the letter said.
The Cleveland Heights Police Department will also have an increased presence in the building and on campus while other police will aid security personnel in monitoring for loitering outside of the building and on campus, the letter said.
The letter to parents and staff said standard security protocols will also continue to be enforced. Those include metal detectors at the entrances and security monitors posted at doors and throughout the venue. When the game is over, the gym is expected to be emptied immediately.
“We will provide additional updates as needed. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,” the letter said.
On Tuesday just before 10 p.m., Cleveland Heights police officers working security for the basketball game between Cleveland Heights High School and Garfield Heights High School reported a “large fight of at least 50 students” in the parking lot on Cleveland Heights High School’s west side.
Officers called in backup and were joined by officers from Shaker Heights, University Heights and South Euclid.
One officer was struck in the face and another was punched by a suspect who got away, according to the release. Neither officer was seriously injured.
Two students were injured. One 19-year-old man was treated at the scene for a face injury. Another 19-year-old was taken by ambulance to a hospital for face and knee injuries.
“It’s worth noting that there were no issues inside of the school during the game on Tuesday. This is a reflection of the expertise and professionalism of our security team, athletics department, and Heights High School staff, as well as the overall respectful nature of our students and the other game attendees” the letter said.