East St. Louis School District ends track season after fight at team meet

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - The East St. Louis School District 189 terminated its boys' track season after a fight broke at the Southwestern Conference meet on Tuesday.

The fight broke out between students and athletes at East St. Louis High School. The junior varsity team had just completed a relay when the altercation began in the stands near the finish line and the fight quickly escalated. The fight forced officials to postpone the meet.

Although the investigation remains ongoing, it's been confirmed that some members of the East St. Louis track team contributed to the escalation of the of the fight and the district opted to end the season altogether.

While many parents and students are upset about the decision, the district hopes this will be a learning experience for all students and athletes.

With the season now ending prematurely, the track team will not be able to compete in the state championships, which could affect some students' graduation plans.

The district released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

While the investigation is still ongoing, it has been confirmed that members of the Flyers track team contributed to the escalation of the altercation at the meet held on May 9, 2018. Therefore, we are ending the boys’ track season immediately. Further consequences will be given to individuals involved in the incident, in accordance with our discipline policy. Our Code of Conduct outlines expectations of student behavior; the actions that some student-athletes engaged in on May 9th do not uphold our values. Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for all of our students and athletes.

Safety remains the top priority for District 189. We constantly evaluate and adjust our methods for improving the safety for students, staff and patrons at our athletic and other public events. Additionally, the East St. Louis Police Department has committed to making a stronger presence at all future sporting events and we are reaching out to the State Police and the Sheriff’s Department to request their presence as well.