Fight at Bell High School lands on the Internet
By Carrie A. Mizell
The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fight between three Bell High School juniors that showed up on the Internet before the Sheriff’s Office was even called last week.
According to Major Tony Smith of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, investigators are now looking into the fight, after the parents of the teenager who was injured in the fight called to report the incident last Wednesday night.
“One of the things we are looking at is why it wasn’t stopped sooner,” Smith said.
A crowd of students and at least one adult witnessed the fight, which had reportedly been brewing for over a week primarily between two teenage boys. Several students reportedly videoed the fight, which occurred in front of the high school gym shortly after the first bell rang, on their cell phones. Before the end of the day, footage of the fight had been edited and sound effects had been added prior to several teenagers posting the fight on both Facebook and YouTube.
As of Friday afternoon, the YouTube video dubbed “Stevie BeatDown” had been viewed 748 times. By Monday the video had been taken off both YouTube and Facebook, and the students who posted the video were reportedly being disciplined.
The graphic video coverage of the fight shows one of the teenagers involved being choked and held down on the ground for a lengthy period of time. According to witnesses, the teenager lost consciousness at one point and incurred a chipped tooth, a swollen jaw and extensive bruising around his neck.
Rick Reed, principal at Bell High School said, “The recent incident which occurred on the Bell High School campus has been investigated and all students involved have been properly disciplined.”
According to one of the students involved, who is a minor and therefore will not be called by name, each one of the three individuals involved was given five days suspension for the fight.
Following the incident, superintendent Don Thomas said, “Great efforts are being made to continue to provide our students with a safe, learning environment.”
Thomas went on to say that the safety of students is extremely important.
The fact that the fight was captured on camera phones and posted on the Internet has left several parents in the community questioning why students are allowed to have cell phones on campus. Several students at Trenton Middle-High School were reportedly watching a video of the fight while at school on Wednesday afternoon via their cell phones, as footage was sent from one phone to the next throughout the county.
“Schools are an environment for learning, ideally,” said one local parent, who wanted to remain anonymous. “Cell phones just appear to be a great distraction.”