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Thirteen Pupils Injured In School Auditorium Stampede

December 10, 1991

BALTIMORE (AP) _ About 800 pupils stampeded while leaving a middle school auditorium Monday, and 13 were injured, officials said.

Four pupils at the Herring Run Middle School were sent to area hospitals, but none of the injuries was considered life-threatening. The injuries included a broken leg, broken ankles and minor cuts and bruises, said Jackie Hardy, a city schools spokeswoman.

″Everybody started pushing and that’s when everybody started falling on me,″ said sixth-grader Kelly Johnson.

″It was very frightening,″ said school nurse Dierdre Samuels. ″They talked about having many bodies piled on top of them and they were underneath.″

The incident occurred when the pupils were dismissed for the day after a talent-fashion show, officials said. Teachers and pupils said a small group of impatient children started the stampede.

″They just decided they wanted to hurry up,″ said teacher Dorvera DeVance. ″They heard the bell and instead of waiting for their section to be dismissed they just started running out of the auditorium, pushing and shoving. Kids got knocked down, some kids got walked on.″

Sixth-grader Kevin Roff said: ″Two or three just jumped up and ran out the doors, kicking people and stomping people.″

School principal Leon Tillett said there would be an investigation.

″There was no fight, no malicious intent,″ he said. ″It’s a very strange situation and could have happened anywhere - in the subway, the movie theater.″

School officials said the number of security officers in the auditorium will be increased from two to four.

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