Education

Violent fight at Santa Ynez High School caught on video

Principal turns incident into teaching moment

Violence involving freshman high...

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - Cell-phone video showing one girl beating up another at Santa Ynez Valley High School has educators concerned.

The violence, involving two freshman girls, occurred on the pirate campus on Tuesday morning. Students can be seen in the video watching or walking by as an instructional aide pulled the girls apart and tells them to knock it off.

Principal Mark Swanitz said one of the girls was arrested and charged with felony battery. He said the other girl was taken to Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital where she was treated and released.

"I think what we can learn from this is that a  random act, a bad decision form a single student , can impact an entire community," said Vice-Principal Peter Haws.

Haws said social media posts prior to the fight played a role in the dispute between the girls.

"One student becoming angry over some social media posts can completely distract everyone from a fabulous chalk festival, an amazing open house, and very high student achievement, and a very harmonious student atmosphere," said Haws.

The principal notified parents about what happened on Tuesday evening and teachers talked to students about it during first period on Wednesday.

"We need to pull together, we can, we have to have each others backs, we have to look out for one another, we have to be positive, we have to be sensitive to what everyone else is going through and what might be a burden they are walking around with in their lives," said Swanitz.

The school is still investigating the matter and plans to apply appropriate discipline.

A student, wishing to remain anonymous, said there have a couple fights between boys in recent weeks.

She said she wants her school campus to feel safe and she hopes students will get involved next time in an effort to keep the peace.


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