The principals of Gaithersburg and Northwest high schools sent out a joint message to the community following the altercation that took place during the football game between the two schools. The full statement can be seen below:
“Dear Gaithersburg and Northwest High School Communities,
We, the principals of our two schools, write to you today about the extremely disturbing events at the football game held at Gaithersburg High School last Friday evening. Late in the game, a fight broke out between two players, which then transitioned to other players and coaches becoming involved. Once the incident was resolved, the officials decided to disqualify both teams, resulting in a double-forfeiture of the game. After safely getting both teams out of the stadium, a number of individuals, including a few students, fought in the parking lot, and were subsequently arrested as they refused police orders to disperse, and in some cases, physically struggled with police. This was a dangerous situation and we will work with our central office partners to swiftly develop plans to enhance safety and ensure order at future school athletic events.
We wish to be very clear that together we strongly condemn this unacceptable behavior that occurred at the football game. This disrespectful and dangerous behavior is not what we model and communicate to our students and must not be tolerated. Fighting, and causing physical and emotional injury, is in no way an appropriate way to solve conflict. We ask all those involved or who witnessed this event to consider what could have happened had our police partners, security personnel and school staff not acted so quickly to de-escalate this incident. Following a thorough investigation, disciplinary actions against any individuals (students or adults) who are found to have participated in these actions will be issued. As agreed upon by both MCPS and our respective schools, to assist in the ongoing investigations, all football operations at both schools will be suspended temporarily.
The Athletics programs in MCPS are designed to support and enhance the academic experience for our students
and help build school and community spirit. Each week, the vast majority of our students participate in and attend hundreds of athletic contests, demonstrating the respect and sportsmanship we expect as outlined in the MCPS R.A.I.S.E. core values. We will reinforce these values with our students at school and we ask you to discuss these expectations with your children before they attend any school event.
We are in the process of updating our plans to ensure safety at upcoming events and once fully developed we would will share those details with our school communities.
Cary Dimmick- Principal, Gaithersburg High School
Scott Smith- Principal, Northwest High School”