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CHAMPAIGN — Champaign Central High School was put on lockdown Friday afternoon after several fights and a gun scare at the beginning of a class period. 

"Just prior to going on lockdown at the beginning of 6th period, a very large group of students rushed out of Central and one of them yelled something about a gun," Principal Joe Williams wrote to in a letter to families after the lockdown. "At that point, we determined we should call 911 and went on a lockdown."

Law-enforcement officers from Champaign and University of Illinois police and the Champaign County Sheriff's Office arrived and walked through the school's hallways and "non-locked areas" such as restrooms, Williams said. 

"Some students who were already outside the building remained across the street," Williams said. "The second phase of the clearance involved ensuring all students and staff who were in locked classrooms were safe. Finally, any locked rooms that did not have any students or staff were checked."

The lockdown ended just after 1:30 p.m. Friday.

"At this time, there is no evidence to confirm a weapon was involved or fired during this incident," school district spokesperson Stacey Moore said. 

"If you are outside, you may re-enter the building to come back to class," officials announced on the intercom.

At 1:45 p.m., many students were outside making phone calls or leaving for the day. Parents began to arrive soon after. 

Earlier in the day, district officials wrote to families about a lockdown caused by several fights having broken out.

"At this time, Central High School is on a lockdown. Several fights have happened this morning and out of an abundance of caution, we are holding all students in classrooms and offices until we can further investigate any possible threats," it said. "Right now, everyone is safe and secure. We will send an update as soon as we have more information."

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