"There's anxiety:" West Bend students suspended over protest that turned ugly

WEST BEND (WITI) -- Scores of students are suspended -- and expulsions could follow. Some may be referred to juvenile authorities. All of this comes after a massive protest turned ugly Thursday at West Bend High School.

School administrators at West Bend High School may tell you the cell phone video of the chaotic scene at the school only tells part of the story. While it started as a peaceful discussion about new rules at the school such as new types of hall passes, it became a free-for-all. More than a dozen police got involved in stopping the crowds.

West Bend police say 75 kids were suspended. Some may be given citations and referred to juvenile officials.

What you don't see, according to the superintendent -- more than 2,000 other students who did not take part in the craziness.

"All the kids who weren't involved are apologizing. There's anxiety, what was this all about," said Ted Neitzke, Superintendent of the West Bend School District.

Neitzke talked to the students Friday morning. It was kind of a debrief -- and then it was time to learn.

"Every administrator in the district was there in the morning. We had increased police presence. But what we didn't want to do is, we didn't want to create and intimidating environment -- which is why we had all the elementary school principals there," said Neitzke.

The superintendent says he's proud of most of the students and his staff.

"At the end of the day, we have a few hundred adults in that building. Whether they worked in the classrooms, the lunchroom, the halls, the clinic. Every adult stepped up yesterday,"said Neitzke.

Suspensions will run three days -- then those kids will come back.

So what did administrators learn from this incident?  If they want to talk to students about a controversial issue, they'll do it in small groups -- not a huge gathering.

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