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Dundalk lawmakers: Close Baltimore Community High School

Following brutal attack, Dundalk lawmakers want Baltimore Community H.S. closed.

Following the brutal beating of a Dundalk man, local lawmakers are asking for the closure of a Baltimore City alternative high school where students allegedly involved in the attack attend.

In a letter sent to city school officials on Tuesday, Dundalk representatives asked for an immediate closure of the Baltimore Community High School. City school officials have said that the school, which is an alternative high school, is already scheduled to close in 2017.

But that's not soon enough for the Dundalk lawmakers, who wrote, "We request expeditious closing of this school for the good of the students and the Harborview Community in Dundalk."

The letter was signed by Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell, state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling, Del. Robin Grammer, Del. Bob Long and Del. Ric Metzgar, who are all Republicans representing Dundalk.

On April 22, Dundalk resident Richard Fletcher, 61, intervened in a fight between girls outside his home on 45th Street. The group of teens turned on him and beat him so badly he ended up in the hospital with a brain bleed, nasal fracture, orbital fracture and possible broken ribs, according to charging documents filed in court by Baltimore County Police.

Seven young people have been charged in the attack, with several facing charges of attempted first-degree murder. The school's principal has acknowledged that students were involved in the attack. The school is located just over the city line from where the attack occurred.

School officials helped police review cell phone and surveillance video of the attack to identify the students who were allegedly involved.

Since the April 22 attack, county police increased patrols at dismissal time, when students leave the school to walk to MTA bus stops. The MTA has moved one of the stops closer to the school.

But the Dundalk lawmakers believe the city police and school officials "have shown little commitment to solving this systemic issue."

Neighbors have complained that students leaving school have long been disruptive in the neighborhood, blocking traffic by walking in the middle of the street, littering and fighting.

"Recent arrests and increased police presence has only served to heighten tensions and further increase the danger to both students and residents," the lawmakers wrote. "Perhaps at no time in the past decade have things become more dangerous than they are right now."

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

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