(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Questions are being raised about how school security and police handled a fight in the Hazleton Area High School cafeteria on Monday. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has the story.
A video was taken by a student who posted it to social media. She gave Eyewitness News permission to use it for this report.
You can see one female student being led away. In the background you see several officers and security personnel trying to subdue another female student. Who were told is 15 years of age. One of the officers appears to be punching her leg. That same officer grabs her by her pony tail and holds her head on the table.
The I-Team questioned that the video looked brutal.
Chief Harry responded that they only saw a very small portion of what was going on. They haven’t seen anything about what led up to it and the entire altercation in the cafeteria”. “
School District Police Chief Ed Harry says the officers are trained to react to these types of situations and acted properly.
“At that point, the officer had to get that under control immediately. You can see from the snippet of vide there were hundreds of kids in the cafeteria and they were cheering her on yelling and cheering her on. They needed to deescalate that ” Chief Harry Noted.
Investigators say it started as an argument between two female students in the high school cafeteria that quickly escalated to a fever pitch of violence. Superintendent Brian Uplinger is urging parents and students to step back and get all the facts before passing judgment.
“It’s important to know there are always two sides to every story and it’s really important for parents and students and community members to get both sides of those stories before going to social media.”
Chief Harry says at least four students will be expelled from school and could face criminal charges for their role in that melee. And there could be more. The investigation is ongoing. The I-Team did reach out to the family of the student who was subdued by the officers for comment…we have not yet heard back..