PHS

A fight broke out at Pendleton High School on Friday prompting a response from Pendleton Police Department and school officials.

PENDLETON — A fight between students at Pendleton High School resulted in “corrective actions” and an ongoing police investigation.

The fracas broke out Friday in a hallway at the school. Principal Melissa Sandven said student safety is a top priority, and staff responded within moments and broke up the melee.

“The students received corrective action per school district policy and state law,” she said. “We handled it as we would any fight.”

District policy and laws also prevent Sandven from disclosing much information about the fight, she explained, including who was involved. She said staff followed protocol and questioned students as they would in any incident. The school needs to find out what happened, she explained, to impose the appropriate discipline.

“As principal, that’s something I take very seriously,” she said. “We’re very concerned about making sure what happened and with being fair and consistent in the corrective actions.”

Sandven is in her second year as principal. She said Pendleton High generally is a safe place, but conflicts arise. When they do, she said, the school works to make sure students receive due process.

The school also notified parents of the students involved and called police.

Pendleton police Lt. Tony Nelson confirmed there was an “incident” at the high school and police have made no arrests.

“It’s a case we’re still actively investigating, and I don’t want to taint anything while we’re investigating it,” he said.

Once the work is complete, he said, the department will forward the report to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office to determine charges.

This is the second assault involving juveniles in less than two weeks in Pendleton. Two teenage boys attacked a Pendleton man on Oct. 22 on the city’s River Parkway. Police arrested a 15- and 16-year-old soon after that assault.

District Attorney Dan Primus said that case is in the juvenile court system, which operates a little different from adult criminal court.

Police reports involving juveniles go through the county’s juvenile department rather than his office, Primus said. Juvenile courts use “petitions” to bring charges instead of “charging instruments.” And juvenile courts hold “adjudications” rather than trials.

“It’s different language for the same things,” Primus said.

And juvenile courts are open to the public, according to the Oregon Judicial Department, but much of the information in case files remains confidential.

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