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8 arrested after brawl at kindergarten graduation

The Plain Dealer /Landov

Cleveland police arrest a woman involved with a fight that broke out at Michael R. White Elementary school after a kindergarten graduation ceremony on Friday in Cleveland.

A kindergarten graduation in Cleveland ended with eight people in detention — police detention — after an argument erupted into a sidewalk brawl.

Families of students at the Michael R. White School were gathered for the end-of-year ceremony when two teenagers got into a dispute and stepped outside to continue it, said Roseann Canfora, a spokeswoman for the city schools.

"There were no students from our school involved," Canfora said.

Cleveland Police Commander Wayne Drummond said investigators were trying to confirm reports that a spilled cup of punch sparked the original argument.

He said the first 911 call came in as a report of a shot fired — which turned out not to be true — and the school was put on lockdown while several patrol cars responded within minutes.

"There were no guns, but one individual did pull out a club or a stick and one person did grab a hammer," Drummond told NBC News.

"Officers were able to separate the combatants," he said.

Seven adults and one teenager were arrested for aggravated rioting and prosecutors will decide whether to charge them, he said. No one was seriously injured, but there were a number of scrapes and bruises from the fisticuffs.

Drummond said it was unfortunate that what should have been a joyous day for the little scholars moving onto first grade ended with their relatives getting hauled away in handcuffs.

"It's just sad that it was marred by some adults who should be setting an example for the kids of how to behave but who did quite the opposite," he said.