HAYWARD -- What started as a lunchtime fight between a boy and a girl at Hayward High School turned into numerous small brawls and a huge response from police after a student took a swing at the on-site school resource officer, police said.
That student and five others were arrested and face charges related to either fighting or interfering with officers, police said.
Hayward police Lt. Roger Keener said the on-site officer was attempting to break up the first fight just before noon when a second one, between two girls, broke out. When the officer went to quell that altercation, a boy -- believed to be friends with one of the fighting girls -- tried to punch the officer, but didn't connect.
At that point, numerous other skirmishes started breaking out, and because it was lunchtime, a crowd of as many as 300 students gathered and the call went out that an officer was in trouble.
"The problem is that it's during lunch, and a lot of people are going to stand and look, and the officer can only respond to one situation at a time," Keener said.
Hayward police swarmed the campus, along with California Highway Patrol officers, BART police and officers from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Keener said the situation was defused and students were sent back to class within 10 to 15 minutes.
No students were hurt, Keener said, and despite rumors circulating around the campus, no weapons were involved.
Martha Garcia was at the school Tuesday morning to discuss safety issues as part of a group of concerned parents when she found herself outside the locked gates, waiting to hear from her daughter.
"We would like the school to respond to us," she said. "Sometimes we feel like our kids' lives are in danger. There are incidents in the cafeteria, incidents at lunch. "... We want to know what's going on and they're not telling us."