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Lockdown at Owatonna High School possibly connected to racist comments

Police called about commotion involving many students.

Posted: Feb. 11, 2019 5:33 PM
Updated: Feb. 11, 2019 10:47 PM

OWATONNA, Minn. – A disturbance involving a large group of students and possible racism led to a lockdown Monday at Owatonna High School.

Police say they were called to the school for a reported fight around 11:47 am. The Minnesota State Patrol and the Steele County Sheriff’s Office assisted. Law enforcement says students were seen shouting and being disruptive in the school’s commons area and gymnasium. A lockdown was ordered by school staff but Owatonna police say not all students were cooperative.

The Owatonna Police Department says one juvenile was taken into custody for assaulting a member of law enforcement. A second juvenile was taken into custody for obstructing the legal process. A third juvenile was also cited and released for trespassing. All three cases remain under investigation.

Police say there are no reports of any injuries to students and they are not aware of any fights that took place between students.

Authorities say initial reports are the disturbance may have been connected to racists comments posted on social media by white students toward black students. Those social media posts are being investigated as well.

Owatonna police say a report on social media of weapons being involved in Monday’s incident was incorrect.

Gold Cross paramedics also responded to the high school for medical emergencies not related to any physical assault.

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