Magoffin Middle School Students Fighting on Camera, Police Warn of Consequences
POSTED: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 5:49pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 7:49am
EL PASO – Another set of disturbing videos has surfaced on youtube, showing local middle school students fighting while others encourage the violence.
This time we found 4 videos that appear to show 7th and 8th grade students from Magoffin Middle School exchanging blows in a grassy field.
One video has more than 5,000 views.
Local4 showed the videos to the district. Renee de Santos, a district spokeswoman, told us the fights happened off campus, in a park next to the school. However she said in an email, “a student could be disciplined based on the student code of conduct for fighting off campus near the school.” She didn't tell us if any of the students in the video were disciplined. De Santos said there there is nothing in the student code of conduct that prohibits a student from videotaping a fight in a public place.
The problem of students videotaping fights and posting them online isn't isolated to Magoffin Middle School or even EPIDS. It's happening everywhere. If you type the name of any local school in the country and the word “fight,” chances are you'll find at least one video of students from that school fighting. But what happens when the fight happens off campus and away from the school?
Students could still face very serious consequences, according to El Paso Police Department spokesman Mike Baranyay.
“Fighting in public is a crime. It's disorderly conduct," he said. While students may think they're showing off their fighting skills on youtube, they could actually be giving police the proof they need.
“What you've done by posting that is giving us evidence to be used in court to support the claims against you."
Because there's always the chance a student could get seriously hurt.
“Often times were told when we get these that it was a prank and the incident was staged so they could throw it on youtube. But the reality is it's not a prank. People do get seriously hurt and when that happens people are going to be charged criminally,” said Baranyay.
Police said they can launch an investigation into a fight even if a victim or someone involved doesn't come forward. All they need is a witness. That person can be someone who sees the video online and the decides to file a police report, said Baranyay.
To view the youtube videos featured in this story, click the following links: