State News

School Attorney Orders YouTube to Remove Video of Students Fighting

Posted February 28, 2007
Updated March 1, 2007

— An attorney representing Lee County High School has contacted the Web site to order the removal of a video showing students fighting in a boys' bathroom at the school.

Fifteen Lee County High students, ages 14 to 17, were suspended and arrested Wednesday for taking part in the video. Police officials said many of the fights were staged and typically showed two students fighting while others cheered.

In one clip, a boy trips and hits his face on a wall-mounted hand dryer while his opponent continues to punch him from behind. In another video, the same student spits blood in a sink.

No one was seriously injured, but some students received minor injuries, according to Darla Cole, the school system's chief resource officer.

"There was no malicious intent involved," Cole said. "They weren't mad at each other. And if there had been a fight where somebody was mad, word would have got out."

Police began investigating when they learned about the fights last week. The postings were discovered after one student, claiming he had fallen in the bathroom, was treated for a cut to the head.

The fights, which occurred in the morning before school started, violated school rules that regulate aggressive behavior and the use of electronic equipment, according to Cole.

Principal Greg Batten said the students' motives are complicated.

"People are looking for fame and fortune, and sometimes people don't always look for it in the right way," he said.

While the action from inside the bathroom appears staged at times, the potential for escalating violence has the school on alert.

"Somebody could have gotten hurt seriously," Cole said. "That is why we have taken a hard line on it."

The students were charged with disorderly conduct on a school campus. The 11 underage teenagers will face their charges in Lee County's juvenile system, while the four older teens will make their first court appearance Monday.


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  • gailh57 Mar 2, 2007

    This has been blown way out of what it was, if you have seen the video and have ever been a kid yourself you know they were not seriously fighting.. I agree disciplinary action is needed, but don't go pointing a figure at teachers and school staff ... or you'll find there's four pointing back at you ,the accuser.Yes, I do work in the school system.

  • buck121794 Mar 2, 2007

    In today's public schools, students parent's have to give consent for their child to be photographed or videotaped. One can imagine if their precious little one got photographed or videotaped without permiswsion, while at school, and it wound up on the Internet.

  • momwhocares Mar 2, 2007

    Just to everyone who is saying "why didn't someone hear.. blah blah, they should have heard the fighting" There was nothing to hear, all of the videos are still on YouTube and they were not "cheering them on" they were all just staning around watching. I think the loudest one was when a boy said "this is lame, I'm out of here" SO there was no way anyone could have heard what was going on. They were obviously staged because they would stop in the middle and be like "yeah that was good" then start over. Yeah, they should have some outlet at school like a boxing team or something so they can do that stuff instead of in a bathroom where something could have happened like slipping on a wet floor and busting their heads or something.
    Just stop bashing the schools, they do what they can with what they have.

  • FragmentFour Mar 2, 2007

    I don't usually share Tax Man's point of view, but this time is an exception. As long as the kids being filmed had no objection to it being placed on the web, the removal demand by the attorney for the school district is a hollow howl for importance. That office certainly has no grounds for ordering YouTube one way or the other.

    One interesting detail left out of the story is how far in the past the "fights" took place. Another is how many there were. Honestly, given Lee High School's past performances and history, I think the kids who got suspended won't miss much that's worth having.

  • painexpress Mar 2, 2007

    I really hope these young men join the military when they get out of school. Their fighting technique should work very well in HILLBILLARY'S army of tomorrow. In other words, they fight like girls.

  • me-in-raeford Mar 2, 2007

    Sounds to me like a bunch of kids being kids...really can any of us over the age of 30 really stand there and say we never did anything like this when we were young?

    I'm more concerned about this School's attorney thinking somehow he has the authority to demand anything You Tube. Why don't you send You Tube a letter of thanks instead; since they apparently are on top of what's going on in your schools when you're not!!

  • mrcrosby Mar 2, 2007

    1st off, an attorney does not have the authority to order anybody to do anything. Just arrest the little hoodlems

  • romeopm Mar 2, 2007

    Phoebe0715 i am a school resource officer at a wake county public school and i want to let you know that just like murders and any other crime we cant be there all the time. there is only one resource officer in the entire school. can you imagine being a officer for one huge school?? what we need is stricter punishments when these kids gets caught doing something and the security gaurds at these schools are in the same boat. these kids are very smart these days if they want to do something wrong they will do it.

  • Mar 2, 2007

    I was thinking the same thing, Tax Man. The attorney can 'order' all he wants, but until a COURT orders the removal, YouTube is not obligated to comply.

  • mom2threecld Mar 2, 2007

    our tax dollars for public education and the internet..........hard at work