NFA brawl was ‘an isolated incident,’ principals say

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Recent incident of stdudent fighting at NFA

NEWBURGH – The fight between female current and former students at Newburgh Free Academy Main last week had nothing to do with previous events in the community, the co-principals – Edgar Glascott and Matteo Doddo – said in a letter to the community. That in school brawl was “an isolated incident,” they said. (Watch video of fight)

Those involved in the high school brawl have been identified. Current students will face disciplinary action based on the Student Code of Conduct and the names of the two who trespassed have been turned over to the Newburgh City Police Department.

In his own letter to middle and high school students and families, Acting Superintendent Ed Forgit wrote on Sunday that “This week you will see increased security at each campus of the high school.” He said the additional security staffing “will be to monitor the perimeter of each school, support a smooth transition of students from class to class, and ensure students have a safe and enjoyable experience in the cafeteria.”

Forgit suggested the pandemic has led to discipline problems among students. “A large percentage of returning students this year are exhibiting behavioral and social emotional needs resulting from the feeling of loss, lack of a structured learning environment, missed opportunities for guided emotional growth and development, fewer peer relationships, and a variety of other characteristics that are unit for their grade level,” he wrote.

The district security staff “interacts with our students throughout the day,” the superintendent said. “For the most part, students are extremely respectful and understand the role these employees play in providing a safe school. However, there is a small population of students who are less respectful.” He urged parents to “speak with your child(ren) to reinforce the role of our security monitors and support our request that they are respected.”

“The school, in collaboration with the district, is continuously looking to improve our security protocols and technologies,” Glascott and Doddo wrote in their letter. They said that students, faculty and staff should have and visibly display their ID cards at all times. “We ask for your patience as we continue to provide multiple layers of safety.”