JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A staff member at Mandarin High School was hospitalized Friday afternoon after he was attacked by students when he tried to break up a brawl, a parent told News4Jax. A Duval County Public Schools spokeswoman said the staff member was not attacked, but was hurt trying to break up the fight.
It was all captured on a student's cellphone camera, and the video has made its way around social media.
A mother, who asked not to be identified, told News4Jax she was picking up her child from school when she witnessed the fight outside the main office.
She said when the employee tried to break it up, some of the students turned on him. A Duval County Public Schools spokeswoman disputed that they students attacked the man, but said he was hospitalized with a head injury.
Another school staff member was also injured, but did not have to be hospitalized.
“I looked through the window to see, and, sure enough, there was kids in a fight, in a brawl. But one of the student aides came running into the office (and said), 'There’s a teacher down. They're hitting on the security officer,'” the anonymous parent said.
District officials told News4Jax there was a physical altercation between two students and the staff member was injured when he intervened.
In the video, staff members can be seen running in to separate students on the ground on top of the security officer and, eventually, the school employee is seen lying on the ground, unable to move.
“I watched him on the ground, and he was definitely injured,” the parent said. “They said, 'Yell for an ambulance.' He was coughing up blood on the side, and when they went to roll him over, you could see his head was bashed up pretty bad. He was bleeding from the back of his skull as well.”
The district said the two students who initiated the fight will be disciplined, but there will be no criminal charges. It's unclear from the video how many students were involved.
A robocall was made to parents to tell them about the incident.
“While there was no criminal intent, this kind of behavior is simply unacceptable at Mandarin High School,” the call said. “All students who were involved will be disciplined, according to the student code of conduct.”
The parent who saw the fight said the school needs more security.
“I am horrified,” she said. “I’ve never known Mandarin High to have this kind of (incident). Apparently, there’s just not enough security, because this student that they did pull, he was quite violent, and if you have somebody that violent that can do that kind of damage to a teacher or a security officer, that’s scary.”
She said if staff members aren’t safe at school, she doesn’t know how her children could be.
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