A disruptive social media presence is seen as public enemy number one after two days of fighting at Pine Bush High School.
Two incidents – one on Wednesday and a second on Thursday - that erupted into full-scale brawls were displayed in videos posted on social media last week. It has led to added security measures in the school district and stern warnings from the administration.
“The negative behaviors, including physical and verbal violence, will not be tolerated,” said Interim Superintendent Donna Geidel. “They have no place in our schools and were extremely disruptive and traumatic for our students and staff.”
Geidel said a male student had a physical altercation with a female student outside the attendance office. The situation was investigated, families were contacted, and appropriate disciplinary consequences were administered. Unfortunately, she added, the conflict between these two students continued in the community and was escalated by other students getting involved on social media.
Geidel said that, as a results of the incidents, several mitigation measures were implemented, including:
• Pass restrictions;
• Extra staff in the hallways in between periods;
• Limited release from study halls;
• Extra staff at student arrival and dismissal and in the cafeteria;
• Students must remain seated in the cafeteria;
• Additional security guards in the building and;
• Additional police presence in and around the school.
On Friday, the Superintendent posted a message for Pine Bush students on the district website:
“Today I learned that one of our students has an Instagram account that encourages all of you to post the fights on it. I have notified law enforcement and they will be seeking a subpoena to determine who started this account. Please know that all students will be held accountable as per the Code of Conduct. We are thankful to the majority of you that do the right thing every day and put forth your best behavior every day,” Geidel wrote.
Geidel is asking all parents to have a conversation with their child about the negative impact that social media is having on this situation.
“We all need to take responsibility and realize that even if your child is not actively engaged on these disturbing sites,” Geidel said, simply sharing the videos among friends and family is also promoting this bad behavior.”