While food fights may be the hallmark of the quintessential cafeteria scene in many classic films, in reality, the messy brawls often result in arrests.
On Friday, at least nine Ola High School students were arrested following a colossal food fight that broke out in the Georgia school’s cafeteria. Now, parents of those involved are speaking out against the school’s strict choice of punishment, local TV station WXIA reports.
“I do not condone what Courtney did. I believe she should have been suspended for what happened, but to take her to jail and charge her with a crime, that’s just too much,” Mark Striplin, the father of one of the Ola students arrested, told WXIA.
The food fight, which ignited during the first lunch period Friday, was allegedly planned in advance. School officials got wise to the scheme and even made an announcement before the incident, warning students to abandon their plans or face the repercussions, the Henry Daily Herald reports.
“It should not come as a shock that they’re facing these consequences,” school communications specialist J.B. Hardin told the Herald. “They were warned.”
According to Hardin, the food fight caused damage to the cafeteria and resulted in the injury of one student, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Though the nine students involved were initially charged with inciting a riot, those complaints have been dropped and five of the students, aged 17 and 18, are being charged as adults with disruption of a public school. The four other students involved — all minors — were released into their parents’ custody.
School food fight arrests are nothing new. In fact, students as young as 11 have been taken into custody by police following the cafeteria rumbles, just as adults have been arrested for fights involving food.
However, some schools have opted to serve up their own creative punishments on school grounds. In November, a Detroit school stopped serving lunch to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students for one week as a penalty for a enormous food fight that involved 175 students.