SCHOOL BRAWL POSTED ON INTERNET
By Alex Easton firstname.lastname@example.org THE brawl between Casino High School and St Mary’s High School students has become one of the most viewed videos on film-sharing website You Tube.
And the parent of a student at one of the schools said teenagers are increasingly starting fights specifically so they can be filmed and posted on such sites. Four Casino High students have been suspended, and police are investigating the fight,which took place last Thursday.
At its peak about 30 students were involved, and police expect to charge at least four students by this afternoon.
St Mary’s has not revealed whether any of its students have been disciplined.
The video of the fight, which happened in Canterbury Street between St Mary’s and the McDonalds/KFC complex, was posted on Wednesday by a new You Tube member going by the unflattering name of ‘Fartsquirter’.
The video comes complete with its own rap music soundtrack. The member joined the website on Wednesday, immediately posting footage of the brawl, along with videos of another seven fights apparently recorded around Casino and mostly involving school-age teenagers, some wearing what appear to be Casino High uniforms.
In at least one of the videos, it appears the combatants have waited until the person filming the fight was ready before flying into each other.
By yesterday evening the footage of last week’s brawl was rated as You Tube’s 18th most viewed video in the Australian sports category.
A spokeswoman for Catholic Education said St Mary’s principal Paul Lewis had already met with police and Casino High principal Rob Murphy over the incident. Casino High has agreed to station two staff members at the St Mary’s bus stop every Wednesday to supervise Casino High School students catching their buses after sport.
“With these measures in place we have every confidence that such an incident will not re-occur,” the spokeswoman said.
A spokesman for the NSW Education Department said four Casino High students had been given ‘long suspensions for violence’ and any Casino High student ‘participating in, filming or posting film of fights on the Internet’ could be disciplined by the school.
Casino High was yesterday trying to get the fights removed from the You Tube website. However, the spokesman said the videos could not have been posted on or the You Tube website accessed from any school computer.
“The department strongly encourages parents to monitor their children’s Internet use at home and elsewhere outside school,” he said.
A parent of a student at St Mary’s, who did not wish to be identified, said he was told of the video by his child on Wednesday night and understood some teenagers in the town were picking fights specifically so they could film them and watch them again later on.
“That’s what’s happening, they’re filming that sort of thing,” the parent said.
“There’s quite a few of the boys who’ve been over at the skate park or BMX track and picked fights purely to film the fights and watch it back.”
The parent described the trend as ‘disturbing’ and said he understood last Thursday’s brawl began after a group of Casino High students arrived at St Mary’s with the intention of starting a fight.
During the fight, he said two mothers were punched in the face by brawling students.
While not suggesting last week’s brawl was started purely for the sake of filming it, he questioned rumours that it had begun over one student throwing another’s hat on to the roof of a building.