DANVILLE. Va. -

At first glance in classrooms and down hallways, it looks, smells, and acts like a typical middle schools.

Awards on the walls, students asleep in English class, and books scattered on the floor.
City council members however are concerned.

"When you hear things about safely and concerns about that, obviously that raises a red flag. So that made us certainly more concerned about it," said Lee Vogler, a Danville Council member.

Today they joined the Danville school board to tour the school, walking into classrooms and talking one on one with teachers and students.

"Teachers that I have spoke with thus far say things are improving, and getting better," said Councilman John Gilstrap.

This school year fights have plagued the school and it's more than students talking back to their teachers.

So far this school year there have been 33 incidents that involved police, that's compared to only eight this time last school year.

In December five students were arrested in the cafeteria after police say they gained up on another student an assaulted her.

Recently, the school board added another resource officer for extra security.

Some members of city council, and people in the community think the root of the problem could stem from a decision last summer when the school board merged four middle schools into two.

That move added more students to classes and concerns Councilman John Gilstrap.

"With 26 in a classroom to eight in a classroom, I'm sure there is a logical explanation for that," Gilstrap said.

Superintendent Ed Newsome says the class sizes depend on the type of class offered. He says the school board is overcoming the challenges by enforcing strict discipline.

"I would say that there have been challenges that have been, evidence, but I would also say that we're making, we see bright days ahead for our students and staff," Newsome said.

Monday night Council members offered more suggestions, like adding more cameras and changing classroom structure and talked about their experience today during a joint meeting with the school board.