School fight videos raise concerns in Duval County
School leaders, parents speak out about bullying
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County school leaders spoke out Wednesday about recent fights that were caught on camera within the school district.
The first video came out of First Coast High School last week. A parent of a student at First Coast High sent Channel 4 the video and told the station her son was beaten by gang members.
The district told Channel 4 on Wednesday that the fight at First Coast High School was not gang-related, and that everyone involved in the fight was disciplined.
A second video surfaced Tuesday out of Mandarin Middle School. In this video, one student is being attacked by another student. The teen's mother told Channel 4 that he was beaten once on video and then again later that day in a stairwell at the school building.
"It's a broken system and someone needs to fix it," said Jacksonville mother Colleen Guillory.
Channel 4 asked school board members Wednesday night if any plans were being made to combat violence inside Duval County schools.
"Right now we are reviewing all of our policies to make sure that they are current," said School Board member Paula Wright.
Guillory told Channel 4 that her daughter has been attacked by bullies throughout the entire school year. Guillory said the bullying is so bad, that her daughter has suffered from depression and even had to be hospitalized for cutting herself.
"Her heart is broken," Guillory said. "She thinks she is the ugliest thing on earth. She's not. She's a beautiful young lady who is crushed by kids who are just very mean."
School Board member Jason Fischer spoke to Channel 4 about violence in Duval County schools and said that overall the school district is trying to make schools safer through a new anti-bullying hotline that students and parents can call. The district plans on increasing spending on school security from $9 million to $24 million.
"I think in the Mandarin area particularly we have some really safe schools and as a board member, I am doing what they elected me to do, which is provide safety at school for our kids," Fischer said. "We've had some unfortunate instances but any time humans are involved, nobody is perfect and sometimes things happen."
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