Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office

More than 40 students were removed from three high schools in the Tangipahoa Parish public school system for various fights spanning Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said in a news release that 26 students were arrested after Independence High Magnet School was placed on lockdown Tuesday while a fight unfolded.

Though extra deputies were on hand Wednesday "for precautionary measures," according to the sheriff’s office, six more students were removed from school that morning when another fight broke out at the start of classes.

The students were arrested on misdemeanor disturbing the peace by fighting.

Nine Ponchatoula High School students and seven Loranger High students are being removed from their school campus after small fights broke out Wednesday, Schools Superintendent Melissa Stilley said in a statement.

The fight at Ponchatoula High School broke out around lunchtime, and the brawl at Loranger High School started as students were boarding buses at dismissal. Stilley said while the investigation is ongoing, they believe social media is a factor in the incidents. The students will face disciplinary action that could include placement at the district's alternative school or expulsion.

“I am asking our parents and family members to sit down with their students ... and talk about the consequences of these kinds of actions on our school campuses,” Stilley said. "We must take a strong stance against students who choose to disrupt the learning environment and cause potential risk to the students and employees at the school.”

Email Emma Kennedy at ekennedy@theadvocate.com.