High school fight videos raise concerns: 'It's easy to be the bully behind the screen'

    The Kern High School District increased security on Nov. 17, 2017, at Centennial and North high schools after a spike in student fights. (KBAK/KBFX photo) 

    After a spike in student fights at Centennial and North high schools, the Kern High School District increased security Friday and had classroom discussions.

    A district spokesperson said they talked to students about expectations and reiterated that fights are not acceptable.

    They also discussed the role of social media when it comes to students filming the fights.

    "They just talked about if there is a fight, we need to not record it and not huddle around them and keep encouraging it and stuff, because that just makes more fights and makes the fights continue," a Centennial High School student said.

    Stephanie Evans, a parent whose child was involved in one of the recent fights, said spreading the videos is "a form of bullying, and it's a form of sensationalism."

    Students at Centennial said a lot of people post the videos "to get likes on their post" and "more followers."

    "It's easy to be the bully behind the screen," Evans said. "That's doing nothing except exploiting the situation."

    She said the video of her son was misrepresented and irresponsibly passed around.

    Evans did say that sometimes having a fight recorded can be a good thing.

    "I think there can be a kid being accused of something they didn't do," she said.

    Evans said the problem is when teens stand around, record a fight, post it and spread it around.

    "They should be expelled," she said.

    District officials said the recent fights are under investigation.

    In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Jordan's Law. The law makes it a crime to deliberately record an attack for the purpose of posting it on social media. This means in some cases, both the attacker and the person filming could get punished.

    At this point, we do not know if this law will apply to any of the local fights.

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