Local News

Parents call on Wake Forest HS to investigate alleged bullying after fight video

Posted March 5
Updated March 6

— A video posted on social media has gained a lot of attention for its undertones of racial bullying in a local high school.

The video, posted to Instagram on Friday, has people talking online and has students and parents concerned that the punishment for the students involved may not have been distributed evenly.

The circumstances surrounding the incident or what led to the altercation in the video are uncertain, but one parent said the school acknowledges something happened between two students and they’re addressing it.

Chris Pernell received a voice message shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday from the principal at Wake Forest High School.

“School administrators became aware of the video posting shortly after it was posted Friday and we are continuing to investigate the situation,” the message said.

The message was the acknowledgement Pernell said she’d hoped to receive after learning of the video’s existence.

“I just want to know for sure that somebody is really looking into this,” Pernell said.

The video was posted to Instagram by someone identifying himself as a student. In the video, a student is seen pulling another student to the ground twice. A teacher steps in and the video ends shortly after that.

Students and parents have commented, saying the student seen pulling the other student down was suspended, but they believe it was unfair because he had been harassed with racial slurs and threats.

A petition circulating online defends the student who pulled the other to the ground and demands alleged bullying and racism be addressed by the school.

“Watching the video is damaging, but reading the petition, there are, like I said, over 1,100 kids who have signed this petition. And then when you go in and read some of the comments that are hate filled, there are racial slurs in the comment section,” Pernell said.

Pernell said she does not know the boys in the video, nor is she certain that claims of harassment prior to the incident are true, but she wants answers from the school.

Until then, she is left with the voice message that leaves more questions than answers.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage your children not to share rumors. If your child has information to share, they should contact an administrator directly,” the message said.

A spokesperson with Wake County Schools did not return a request for comment.


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  • Mary Meadows Mar 6, 7:35 p.m.
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    Should read isn't violence on violence.

  • Mary Meadows Mar 6, 7:34 p.m.
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    You are right. This case is t violence in violence. After watching the video it appears to me the school did the correct thing. You do not get to throw people around for words. Sorry I don't care what the words are. How are kids supposed to learn if they are at work and a co worker says something negative? If your only solution is to react violentally to words then you are not going to be a happy camper as an adult.

  • Clif Bardwell Mar 6, 4:55 p.m.
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    Seriously? You are in favour of beating someone up because they called you a pansy? How about if they still call you a pansy, are you then in favour of shooting them?

    Didn't your parents tell you, "Sticks and stones..."???

  • Arinzo Williams Mar 6, 4:05 p.m.
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    I guess if your child is the one using vile and vulgar language towards someone on a daily basis the victim is suppose to "suck it up butter cup"?
    That has to be insanity to think after you are pushed to your limit. You are to walk away and report it hoping this insane child will fess up to it and the administration will do something let alone the bullying child's parents. That is a learned behavior you don't pick up being a bully overnight. I was just at my child's school for a meeting and his teacher he was retiring said it's a madhouse and they have no control. IF they call a parent the parents come up there ready to fight the administration.
    How can you ask immature individuals to be mature?

  • Erik Nystrom Mar 6, 2:20 p.m.
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    Call me old fashioned, but I've taught my kids that if someone hits them for no reason, hit them back and hit them back hard. Then they will not bully them anymore.

  • Clif Bardwell Mar 6, 11:46 a.m.
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    All well and good, except that it wasn't violence that was met with violence, it was (if the reports are true) name calling and verbal abuse that was met with violence.

  • Mary Meadows Mar 6, 10:42 a.m.
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    I remember once when my 35 year old was I. 3 Rd grade and a fifth grade boy was choking her on the school bus. She hit him repeatedly to get him off of her. She was suspended from the bus just like the boy. I was furious. When I confronted the principal and said what was she supposed to do- he was choking her? The principal said per the rules that my child should have waited for the bus driver to notice, pull over and park and remove him from her. That is sheer insanity.

  • Mary Meadows Mar 6, 10:37 a.m.
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    i disagree. Your statement "violent acts should result in suspension every time" is something that has bothered me for a long time. Here is the rule: student A punches student B, student B is supposed to take it, not retaliate at all. Should student B DEFEND theirselves after being physically assisted they are suspended same as if they had thrown the first punch. I have always told my kids not to hit others but if they are hit they are supposed to defend themselves. Over the years (I have a 35, 18 & 13 yr old) I have had to go to school on more than one occasion to see my kid being suspended for defending themselves. I've said it to the principals, I've said it to my kids and I'll say it here: My kids have full permission to meet violence with violence in order to preserve their health and I think it's absolutely ridiculous for a child who is defending themselves from a physical attack to get punished. Shame on whoever made that rule.

  • Catherine Sartain Mar 6, 10:37 a.m.
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    The answer isn't going to the principal. My son was bullied for a whole quarter and I went to every one that I could at the school even the principal and no one stepped in to do anything. I had to finally get my son's schedule changed for the last quarter in order to have the bullying to stop. But I had another parent told me after the fact that what I should have done was go to the local police and file an harassment charge against the child. Because when you report bullying to the administration they don't contact the other child parents. So in order to get both parents in on the situation it takes law enforcement for that to happen. Its so sad how our adults in this society has become so afraid of these kids to be able to handle situations like they did 20 yrs ago.

  • Deborah Miller Mar 6, 8:23 a.m.
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    I agree with Brenda Love. Student should report the incident to principal so principal can take action and the person bullying should get reprimanded by school. This student looked big enough to actually physically hurt someone. Violence is not the answer.