A free-for-all erupted in a hallway at one Florida high school as more than a dozen students engaged in kicking, punching and hair-pulling, videos show.
“Several fights” were reported Tuesday, September 12, inside Zephyrhills High School, making it a “controlled campus,” according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Zephyrhills is located about 30 kilometers northeast of Tampa.
The fights took place in the afternoon, and WTVT reports that 13 students have been charged with crimes ranging from battery to “disrupting a school function.”
Videos shared on Facebook and YouTube show male and female students standing on top of each other as they threw punches. Teachers and staff who tried to intervene were seen being pushed or thrown to the floor, including a woman identified as the school’s principal.
A cause for the fights has not been announced.
“Two separate altercations involving a total of 14 students in the cafeteria and a hallway in the transition of two student groups at lunchtime,” Pasco County Schools officials said.
“Our school security and dedicated staff members intervened promptly. However, the large number of students involved and the intensity of the situation made their intervention challenging, as students continued to engage in the fight despite efforts to de-escalate.
Principal Christina Stanley and school administrators are considering disciplinary action for the students involved, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation, officials said.
The students involved in the fights were kept off campus Wednesday “for the safety and well-being of all students and staff,” officials said. Extra officers were also placed at the school, which has an enrollment of over 1,600 students.
“Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated in Pasco County Schools,” Superintendent Kurt Browning said in a release. “Every student has the right to a safe and conducive learning environment, and we will take all necessary measures to ensure that this remains the case.”
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