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Fights, threats stop Harding rally

Harding High canceled Friday's homecoming pep rally because of fights and threats this week, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials say.

The homecoming game against East Gaston was to go on as scheduled at 8 p.m.

Spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte offered no details of the incidents that led Principal Alicisa Johnson to pull the plug on the rally.

"The threat of inappropriate behavior led to the cancellation of Harding University High School's Homecoming Pep Rally this afternoon," Stalberte's written statement said. "School leadership made the decision as a precaution. Our students' safety is our number one priority and we take all threats seriously."

Harding saw major changes in its student body this year. Last year it was a full magnet school. But CMS closed Waddell High this year and sent most of its students to Harding, moving some magnet students to Berry Academy of Technology.

Homecoming events, with their emphasis on school pride, can bring out stress when students have been reluctantly reassigned. Harding and Berry students clashed over closing plans last year.