Brawls at Patterson high school prompt security increase

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PATTERSON, Calif. (AP) — Officials say they'll increase security at a local high school after a dozen brawls involving nearly 100 students erupted on the campus.

Wednesday's melee at Patterson High School was likely gang-related, said students and officials.

The school was kept on lockdown, with students restricted to their classrooms, for about four hours while California Highway Patrol officers and Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputies searched for a gun reportedly seen on campus.

Parents of students gathered, anxious, on the lawn outside, speaking with their children through cell phones.

No weapons were found, officers said.

Four students were treated by an ambulance crew on campus for minor injuries, said deputy Royjindar Singh, a sheriff's spokesman.

Four 17-year-old male students were arrested, and all were charged with fighting on school grounds, he said. Two were also charged with assault and fighting a school staff member.

Though city and school officials said security would be beefed up, students remained worried about violence.

"Our town isn't known for this," said Sandra Pementel, 17. "I want to go to school and not worry about being shot."

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