School administrator involved in Pine Forest High brawl
Posted February 25
Fayetteville, N.C. — Cellphone recordings of a fight at Pine Forest High School on Tuesday show a school administrator slamming a student to the ground, and the student's mother wants disciplinary action taken against the administrator.
The melee occurred in an area called the Fish Pond, just outside the Fayetteville school's cafeteria. Deanthonie Taylor, 15, was one of several students told to put their cellphones down because they were taking video of the brawl in violation of school policy.
Footage from Taylor's phone show him making his way through the crowd and recording Safe School Coordinator Ricky O'Briant pinning a girl on the ground. O'Briant ordered Taylor to stop recording.
"I didn't even hear him," Taylor said Thursday. "He pointed at me and said something, and I didn't hear what he said, and then he came up and grabbed my phone."
A video shot by another student shows O'Briant grabbing Taylor by his jacket and holding him down near his neck. Taylor manages to slither away but then jumps at O'Briant, who grabs him by his shirt and tosses him to the ground.
"I still cry when I see it, and I get upset," said his mother, Sonya Taylor.
Sonya Taylor said Pine Forest High administrators never called her at work to inform her that her son had been hurt – he injured his wrist and had some scratches on his chest – or had been suspended for violating school policy about recording a fight.
Deanthonie Taylor has a hearing Friday to determine if his two-day suspension will be extended, but his mother wants action against O'Briant.
Principal David Culbreth said the video showing O'Briant and Deanthonie Taylor is only a snapshot of a much larger incident.
"That's why we wanted to do a thorough investigation," Culbreth said. "(We) turned it over to police to let them investigate the incident fully."
It's unclear whether O'Briant remains on the job while Cumberland County Sheriff's Office conducts its investigation.