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Cloverdale High School Teacher Arrested For Staging Student Fight Club In Classroom

CLOVERDALE (CBS SF) -- A Cloverdale High School teacher has been arrested on suspicion of arranging and refereeing students' fights in his classroom, authorities said.

Cloverdale Police Sgt. Chris Parker said school officials notified authorities Thursday of an alleged "fight club" for students at the school.

One of the fights that the teacher, 41-year-old Federico Vargas of Santa Rosa, allegedly refereed was recorded on a student's cellphone. There were multiple fights and student injuries over a period of time, and one injury required medical treatment.

Vargas was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of 13 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and five counts of endangering children, Parker said. He posted bail and was released Sunday.

School officials said in a statement that they found out about the allegations last week.

"Last week, the administration at Cloverdale High School and our district office were made aware of concerning allegations that a teacher may have been encouraging students to engage in "fighting" in class, and I want to assure our school community that the employee has been placed on leave pending the outcome of our investigation," the statement said.

"The information available indicates that the "fighting" occurred during a few class periods over two days last week but again, our investigation is continuing."

"We have contacted the parents of students in the classroom to begin the process of gathering information essential to the investigation. I can confirm that we learned about this situation through an employee, and this allows me to stress the importance of encouraging all students and staff to always speak up if ever they see or hear something concerning."

"We are now working with law enforcement and the proper authorities to ensure that a complete investigation is conducted."

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