Graduation melee: A whole new definition for kindergarten cops

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by Stephanie Gallman

(CNN) — The words “kindergarten graduation” usually evoke images of tearful parents taking pictures of cute kids in pint-sized graduation caps and gowns.

But for students and parents at Michael R. White Elementary School in Cleveland, “kindergarten graduation” might now conjure images of “aggravated rioting.”

This, after eight individuals were arrested Friday morning after a fight near the end of the school’s graduation ceremony.

Officers were dispatched after receiving reports of gunfire, according to a statement from the Cleveland Police Department.

As it turned out, there was no gunfire or guns confiscated. But people were going at it after an altercation between two teen girls apparently broke out, Detective Jennifer Ciaccia said.

“We assume they were there for the graduation ceremony,” she said. “Several adults then got involved.”

Cleveland Police Commander Wayne Drummond was one of the first responding officers to the scene.

He told CNN affiliate WEWS that the initial feud prompted family members on both sides to get involved.

“It’s an absolute shame,” said Drummond. “That something as good as a graduation ceremony, a promotion ceremony, is marred by the actions of a few.”

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