TOWAMENCIN — Towamencin police have announced that three female high school students have been charged in connection with a fight at North Penn High School in May.
The three juvenile female students will face "identical criminal offenses" and charges ranging from summary offenses to third-degree misdemeanors, according to a statement from Towamencin police.
"The police department determined there were no indications that the fight had a racially or religiously biased motivation," the department said.
All charges have been filed in juvenile court, the families of those charged have been notified, and all three female juveniles have turned themselves in for processing, police said. Due to the juvenile court filings, their personal information and specific charges are not being released by police, nor are "any investigative material, including the surveillance video of the fight, at this time."
"While we continue to be aware of the sensitive nature of this incident and the community's desire for both information and a resolution, we encourage all members of the community to remain patient and allow for due process to occur in a fair and impartial manner for all of the involved parties," the department said.
Investigation of the incident involved interviews with the participants, school security, and student witnesses, along with review of school surveillance video and social media posts related to the incident. All investigative details were shared by police with the Montgomery County District Attorney's office, "and it was determined that all three of the participants would be charged with identical criminal offenses for their participation in the fight," police said.
A district spokesperson said Tuesday that North Penn "will continue to work with local law enforcement as needed," but declined to comment further.
On May 4, district officials and police said at the time, three students were involved in a fight in the high school's cafeteria, and during the fight a Black female Muslim student had her hijab removed and was made to leave the cafeteria area without it. Video of the fight was posted by "No Gun Zone Philly," alongside text claiming the fight had escalated from threats online, and that the student "had to walk through a large lunchroom with no coverage to shield her from any male eyes."
District officials issued an apology later that week, after an uproar from the community questioning the district's response and treatment of race in the school. School board President Tina Stoll read a formal statement at the start of the school board's first meeting after the fight, detailing the board's actions over the past several years to build cultural proficiency among staff and students, while vowing the board and staff would do more.
"People are questioning our commitment to making all students feel safe, respected and included in the North Penn experience. It is a call to action," the school board said at the time.