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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is preparing juvenile petitions against seven girls allegedly involved in a fight at a Wilmington middle school last week. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says investigators believe the fight Thursday at Williston Middle School was gang related.

Sgt. Brewer says all seven girls will be charged with simple assault. Three of the girls will face a charge of felony second-degree kidnapping.

Brewer says the juvenile petitions will be delivered to the girls’ parents. The children will then have to appear in court.

New Hanover County Schools issued a statement today about the incident reading:

“New Hanover County Schools is working with the Sheriff’s Office – Gang Task Force on this incident and the district continues to work to prevent gang-related activities from occurring in our schools. We can confirm that there was an incident at Williston where the Gang Task Force is involved. Appropriate discipline for the students involved has been administered. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not allow us to disclose the names of the alleged perpetrators or victims. Under FERPA, we also cannot discuss the type of discipline administered.

“The district takes this incident very seriously and we will not tolerate any type of gang behavior in the schools. Over the last year, NHCS has seen a significant reduction in the number of incidents such as this and we will continue to work to ensure the safety of all students.”

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