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It was 11 a.m. A security guard at Spingarn Senior High School saw someone on the school’s second floor with what looked like the butt of a gun sticking out of a pocket. The guy ran. There was a lockdown. That much you know.
But here’s what you don’t: The whole world doesn’t stop for a report of a gunman inside a school. Lunch, for instance, goes on. And Spingarn had a really big food fight!
Tianna Dawkins, an 11th grader, dubbed it the very best part of the day—and the day also included an extended post-lockdown period during which students were shuffled out to the football field, where they stood around for what must have seemed like a long time while police searched the school room by room, with a K-9 unit. Neither a gun nor a gunman were found, according to police.
“The food fight was the best, ’cause they turned the lights off,” said Tianna after she left school for the day.
Clockus Miller, another 11th grader, reported taking cover under a table during the fracas.
“It was like a riot!” he said. “Food was going this way, that way!”
Barbie Carter confirmed that account, giving further specifics about the projectiles: apples, milk, pizza, sandwiches. If it was on the menu, it was airborne.
“The food just started flying,” she said. It might have lasted three minutes. Or, Tianna said, maybe even five.
“Apples and milk, apples and milk!” shouted someone else who identified herself as Ramona.
No one City Paper talked to admitted actually participating in the fight, though each seemed to indicated that everyone else had.
“I don’t throw food,” said Tianna. “My mother taught me.”
Photographs by Darrow Montgomery