South Bend school officials make statement after video of school fight goes viral
A video of a fight Thursday at Clay High School has gone viral on social media.
South Bend Schools released the following statement Friday regarding the video:
"The video shared on social media was troubling and does not reflect the safe learning environment in our schools. Safety is our top priority; we do ?not condone ?violent behavior among students or staff. We are cooperating with law enforcement and ?conducting a thorough investigation into the incident and the actions of all involved. We have taken appropriate measures consistent with the student code of conduct. Pending the outcome of our investigation, the staff member involved has been placed on administrative leave."
A teacher is seen in the video trying to break up the fight. That's where the controversy starts.
WSBT 22 spoke to St. Joseph County police about the dangers of situations like this. They say these situations can get out of hand really fast.
“In classrooms there are always things like furniture that can get overturned or used as weapons depending on the classroom layout, and some classes like a lab there can be other things that can be picked up and thrown and used as weapons,” said Assistant Chief Bill Thompson with St. Joseph County police. “There are a lot of hazards in the classroom environment.”
It’s not clear why the two students started fighting in the first place, but it shows a teacher trying to separate the teens.
At one point it appears as if one of the students hits the teacher, who then strikes back.
“It’s certainly a difficult position for teachers to be in because they’re trying to manage classroom discipline as a sideline to their primary job of providing education.”
Police say the school resource officer was informed about the fight after it happened, and was told by the school that they would be handling the investigation internally.
An official police report was not filed with county police.
The students involved have been suspended, and pending the outcome of the investigation the staff member has been placed on administrative leave.