Lufkin High "YouTube" fight videos surface
POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 10:50pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 4:34am
School officials say students rarely get in fights on campus
LUFKIN - It's happening again.
Teens fighting and beating each other down and then posting the video on YouTube for everybody to see.
Except this time, the attackers aren't in some other area. They're right here, in our own backyard.
As if anyone who saw it could forget: around this time last year, a defenseless Florida girl was beaten. The attackers posted their video on YouTube and later arrested, making national news.
Some authorities and school officials believe interest in the attack, led to a spike in taped fights around the country.
In our search, we found one particular disturbing brawl between Lufkin girls. A group of boys stood nearby, teens with cell phones in hand, taunting and laughing at the girls.
It appears to take place off school grounds.
Another staged fight in Lufkin occurs on campus.
In fact, the video between two Lufkin boys is an Internet craze, getting about 9,000 hits on YouTube. We chose not to list the name of the video.
But it happened outside at Lufkin High School, possibly at lunch or sometime after school.
"YouTube has actually helped us curtail fights," said Lufkin ISD superintendent Roy Knight, when reached by phone Wednesday afternoon. "We use that as a tool to help us investigate and identify punishable behavior."
Mr. Knight says the two boxers spent 30 days in alternative school.
But, perhaps, the punishment was not enough.
One month later, another video shows up on YouTube. Once again: same setting, same fighter, different opponents.
"What we've come to understand now is there are more fights off-campus now," said Mr. Knight. "It has more to do with the glamorization (of appearing on YouTube)."
MSNBC legal analyst Rebecca Woodland says the fights are catching authorities attention.
In fact, she says students in some states face criminal prosecution if a beating video pops up online.
"I think that what they're trying to say is: 'Hey, you people who are on Myspace and YouTube...this is not going to fly," said Woodland.
Mr. Knight says fights are very rare at Lufkin High School.
YOUR VOICE: We know this is a hot topic, so give us your thoughts in the comment box below. What should be done about students involved in fights? Who's to blame? Parents? Schools? Students? If you're a student, tell us if videotaped fights are a big deal at your school and what's the craze all about? Or if you have a news tip or story to share, send a message to Tamara Jolee here.