B-CC and WJ tensions reach new levels

Danis Cammett

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Emma Saltzman

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Photo by Julia Hananel

The word “Viking” was spray painted on B-CC’s wall, raising some suspicion that Whitman students were involved with the vandalism as well.

B-CC and WJ have had strifes and conflicts throughout history; however, these tensions reached a breaking point in a series of incidents that eventually led to the arrests of three students.

On January 14, B-CC students were suspected of spray painting pro B-CC messages along with an obscene image on WJ’s senior shed. The wall that was painted over displayed the names of current WJ seniors. The following day, B-CC was vandalized in three locations. The phrases “B-CC Sucks” and “Go Vikings” were written on one of their walls. Other anti-B-CC comments were written on the rock in front of the school and on the electronic sign at the front of the school. Some believe that the damage caused to B-CC was “payback” from WJ students for the vandalism, but it has not been confirmed that all of the vandalism was done by WJ students because the “Go Vikings” is a reference to Whitman High School.

“These acts resulted in thousands of dollars of damage to the schools and a full police investigation. These acts are all completely unacceptable and both schools will work collaboratively to determine the facts and administer appropriate consequences,” B-CC Principal Dr. Shelton Mooney and WJ Principal Jennifer Baker said in a joint email issued to their respective school communities.

After the vandalistic actions ended, both schools were looking towards the boy’s basketball game on Friday, January 17. The game was described as “tense” and “heated” by many students in attendance.

“As soon as you walked in the building, it was like you were cut with a knife,” WJ junior Arun Sen said. “Everyone was mad at each other when they walked in the hallways, you could just see it in their eyes.”

WJ took an early lead, but as the game progressed, B-CC began to catch up and tensions rose. The game ended with a B-CC victory of 59 – 58, a nail-biting end to a close game.

Minutes after the game ended, students from both sides of the stands rushed to the parking lot. A large circle formed and fighting and shouting ensued. The scene quickly turned violent, with fights breaking out in various locations, and students being pepper sprayed and held down by police officers. Many students pulled out their phones to take videos, only encouraging the brawling to intensify.

“I was just watching the fight with my friends but a guy that we had been trash talking five minutes earlier ran over and sucker punched me. I had oral surgery afterwards and I will most likely be needing two root canals. I’m probably going to press charges. My medical bills are so high,” a student at B-CC, who would rather remain anonymous due to an ongoing police investigation, said.

Second District Commander Sean Gagen stated that the three male students who were arrested were all from B-CC. All three are juveniles and are being charged with assault. They were later released to their parents. None of the arrests were because of the vandalism.

Many students looked to the basketball game on Friday, January 24 for continued conflict, but the game was relatively calm as WJ administration moved the game to 3:30 p.m. and increased the police presence on campus. Tensions between students appears to have calmed.