Fight at College Fair Forces Evacuation

Students fight at Convention Center

By Kavitha Cardoza - WAMU 88.5
|  Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011  |  Updated 5:49 PM EDT
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The Washington Convention Center

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Thousands of students were evacuated from the Washington Convention Center after a fight at a college fair Tuesday morning. 

Students were promised the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from approximately 300 universities throughout the U.S. at the Greater Washington National College Fair. About two hours after the event began, some students started fighting.

Organizers decided to shut down the event, and 12,000 teenagers were asked to leave, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. The fight involved a small group of students.

"It's always that 2-5 percent that take 80 percent of our time," Lanier said after the incident. No one was arrested after the fight.

The event, which was supposed to last until 1 p.m., was evacuated before 11:30 a.m. The college fair's organizers still planned to hold a second session of the event Tuesday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Sherryl Wilson, 16, is in 11th grade at National Collegiate Prep Public Charter School in southeast D.C. She and her classmates stand on the sidewalk outside the Convention Center, waiting for their bus to take them back to school. They didn't even get to go into the fair.    

"I'm upset," said 16-year-old Sherryl Wilson, an 11th-grader at National Collegiate Prep Public Charter School who didn't get a chance to go in to the fair. "I was preparing myself, had questions in mind, everything. Now I can't."

She had questions about different programs and financial aid.

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