UPDATE: Brutal Fight Has Students Questioning Their Role when Observing Brawls

By: Brad Myers; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: Brad Myers; Andrew Colegrove Email
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UPDATE 4/23/14 @ 10 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The extent of how bad that fight at Huntington High got, while some classmates stood by and watched, has students wondering how they'd react.

"I feel like if you didn't stop it, it would be on your conscience," junior Johnathan Jackson said.

"If I'm walking past a fight and it's two people I don't really know, I'm not going to intervene in it, unless it's really bad like it was last Friday," junior Derek Rankin said.

Students say they've been instructed this week by school officials that if they see a fight, not to get involved or intervene.

“I think we should be able to help,” sophomore James Holley said. “I don't think it was right all the students watched them fight. I think since there were no teachers, we definitely should have been able to intervene."

Cabell County Schools Communications Director Jedd Flowers says staying out of fights altogether and getting an adult to break them up has always been the policy. That's because, by stepping in themselves, students could put themselves in danger.

“Obviously we don't want anyone getting involved in a physical altercation because there's always a possibility of someone being injured,” Principal Greg Webb said Monday. “There are cases where people have been hit just one time and fell back and struck their head and died from that fight."

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington High Principal Greg Webb is still dealing with fallout following a brutal fight Friday morning at the school.

"It's not a typical fight that we have at Huntington High School," Webb said. "It's not a typical fight that you would have at any school."

Webb says the fight between the two girls has been boiling for some time through texts and social media.

"This was just an odd situation," Webb said. "The assistant principal knew there was an issue between the two ladies. He had worked on it the day before and thought it had been rectified. My understanding is there was a big social media blast that night or that morning and when they got to school, one girl was intent on resolving the issue."

Webb says no teachers or administrators were able to quickly break up the fight because the students involved had snuck into an area of the school that's off limits in the early morning.

"So, basically what we've done is tightened up where kids are allowed to go," Webb said. "They're only allowed in the main concourse in the cafeteria now."

School administrators are also changing some of the teachers' schedules in an effort to have better supervision of students who arrive to school early.

"We flexed three teachers' schedules," Webb said. "They've agreed to come in at 6:45 a.m. So, they are going to provide extra supervision for us to maintain those 800 to 1,000 kids."

But the investigation into this fight is not over. School administrators are working to track down who recorded the fight, which is against school policy. If that student is caught, they will face a 10-day suspension.

"We're going to uphold that person who videotaped the fight as much of an instigator of the fight as the two involved," Webb said. "It just makes a bad situation for everyone."

We wanted to know how many similar incidents have been reported at Huntington High School this year. Cabell County Schools Spokesman Jed Flowers tells WSAZ.com there have been 14 incidents of battery against students at HHS in the 2013-2014 school year. Principal Webb says there are usually five or six fights each year.

Cabell County Schools classifies battery against a student as any type of unwanted touching.

So far, there have been nine incidents reported at Cabell Midland High School, which is the only other high school in the county.

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