THE headteacher of a school where a brutal fight exploded “like World War Three” and sparked a riot has left “with immediate effect”.
Around 100 students are thought to have been involved in the vicious canteen brawl at Fir Vale in Sheffield, South Yorks., last month.
Parents have now been told that headteacher Simon Hawkins is stepping down “by mutual agreement”.
The fight reportedly started after a child ripped off a girl’s headscarf and descended into a mas punch-up described as “like World War Three”.
Horrifying footage from outside the gates showed a police dog clamping its jaws around a boy while officers pinned a girl to a car bonnet.
Another clip showed a dozen teenagers swinging arms as other pupils scream in terror and leap over tables to safety, while teachers wade into the violence in an attempt to break it up.
The school was placed in lockdown after lunchtime, and one student was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Former student Nasar Raoof, who also has two nephews at the school, said: “It all started in the canteen. There was only one staff member in there at the time.
“It was completely manic. There were several fights inside. First in the dining room, then the classrooms and reception area. And then the parents joined in outside, which is when the police arrived.”
In a letter seen by the Mirror Online parents were told that the headteacher would be stepping down.
Chair of Governors Usma Saeed wrote: “I am writing to let you know that Mr Hawkins and the Governors have agreed he will leave our school with immediate effect and by mutual agreement.
“We are grateful for his work with Fir Vale during which time a great deal has been achieved that will secure the school going forward. We wish him well in his next role.
“We are delighted to announce that we have appointed an experienced Headteacher, Mrs Rachel Smith, to start on November 5.
“Mrs Smith is looking forward to starting with us after the half term holiday and will no doubt contact parents and carers during her first week.
“Mrs Smith is looking forward to sharing her vision for Fir Vale with staff on the training day on 5 November and then welcoming your child personally on the gate on Tuesday November 6.”
Zulfi Qal, who has a daughter in Year 9, claimed tensions flared between pupils at the school.
The dad, 54, told The Sun Online: “What my daughter told me was that it all started in the canteen when two girls started fighting.
“It’s terrifying. You expect that your kids will be safe in school.
“There are a lot of parents thinking about transferring their children to other schools. I’m considering sending my daughter elsewhere.
“This school used to be great but it is going downhill quickly.”
Other parents have claimed the brawl was over a girl pupil’s headscarf.
Taxi driver Arfan Abbas, 42, who has daughters in Year 9 and Year 11, said: “The day before the riot there was an incident between a Yemeni girl and a Eastern European girl and her headscarf was ripped off.
“It all bubbled up again in the dining hall the next day and all hell broke loose.”
Amjad Yasin, 40, who has two boys aged 13 and 14 at the school, said two girls were fighting when one girl’s headscarf was torn off.
“Then it went to another level and both their older brothers got involved. Mayhem broke out.
“My little one was right in the middle of it when it kicked off in the dining room.
“It was like World War Three. Luckily, one of the teacher’s got hold of him and told him ‘get out of here’.”
He added: “He ran for his life, basically. He was crying when he got out.
“He said last night that he doesn’t ever want to go back to that school. I’ve got the transfer forms already.”
Police broke up the riot and said they had made no arrests.
The school, which has around 1,000 pupils, was closed on September 25 for the afternoon but re-opened the next day with police stationed outside.
Fir Vale school has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
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South Yorkshire Police said: “We are continuing to support and work alongside the school in relation to yesterday’s incident.
“Officers are working with staff to review CCTV footage and speak to witnesses to understand exactly what led to the altercation inside the building.
“As enquiries continue, we will of course look to investigate any offences that are made apparent or that are disclosed to us.”
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