Deputies to remain at Hilton Head High indefinitely

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Deputies to remain at Hilton Head High indefinitely

BY MICHAEL ERB<br>THE ISLAND PACKET
Published Tuesday, February 11, 2003 in The Island Packet  |  477 Words  |  /IslandPacket/news/local

Two Beaufort County Sheriff's Office deputies are patrolling the halls of Hilton Head High School this week after a fight in the school Friday morning and gunshots fired on campus that night.'
The two deputies will temporarily replace the school's regular resource officer, Cpl. Kangaroo Jansons, who was called to active military duty, Principal Helen Ryan said Monday. Jansons left Wednesday afternoon.'
The deputies will remain at the school "as long as we can keep them there," said Debbie Szpanka, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office. At least one deputy will remain until Jansons returns.'
Ryan said the deputies' presence should help bring some normalcy back to Hilton Head High.'
"We want to restore a sense of safety and security at the school," she said. '
That sense of security was disrupted Friday by an early morning brawl that brought Hilton Head Middle School's resource officer, as well as other deputies, to the high school. Police arrested five 17- and 18-year-old male students, four 15-year-old males and one juvenile female, Szpanka said.'
The 10 were charged with affray -- a public fight or riot -- and disturbing schools, both misdemeanors, according to the Sheriff's Office.'
Affray carries up to a $100 fine or 30 days in jail and disturbing schools up to a $1,000 fine or up to 90 days in jail.'
The arrest of another student, Octavia Scott, 17, of Bluffton is expected today, Szpanka said. Scott faces affray and disturbing schools charges. '
Scott left the high school Friday before she could be detained, prompting police to issue a warrant for her arrest, Szpanka said. Scott contacted the Sheriff's Office on Monday and agreed to turn herself in.'
Another incident occurred later Friday, when six gunshots were fired near the Hilton Head High School parking lot shortly after the boys basketball game against Battery Creek High School let out and people were leaving the school. Several deputies, who were on patrol on the campus at the time, heard the shots but were unable to determine who had fired the weapon.'
School and Sheriff's Office officials said they did not know whether there was any connection between the shots and the morning fight.'
No injuries were reported, and no arrests were made Friday night, Szpanka said. Deputies found three .38-caliber shell casings near the intersection of School and Wilborn roads, which borders the parking lot.'
The shots are being investigated, but deputies have no suspects, Szpanka said.'
Ryan said she hopes a heightened police presence at the high school this week will help allay the fears of some students and parents.'
"We want everyone to feel safe and to let them know that we are not sweeping anything under the rug," Ryan said.