(WSVN) - The extracurricular activities at one South Florida high school have parents upset, and they’re pushing back at what they consider an inadequate response to a dangerous problem. 7’s Brian Entin has our special report “Fight Fear.”
These are the halls where students are supposed to learn, but at South Plantation High School it’s where they are fighting.
And the fights aren’t just between a couple of kids.
They are all-out brawls with dozens of students involved.
This video was taken at the end of September.
Brian Entin: “How many kids in each fight would you say?”
Bianca Garcia, parent: “Probably 20. They are just jumping each other.”
In a different fight, a teen was hit in the bushes and then flipped upside down in a school courtyard.
Tisa Taylor, parent: “It has become a problem. She told me there is fighting in the hallways. She told me there is fighting in the cafeteria.”
The parents hear about the fighting from their kids, and some have even seen it at school pickup.
Mona Nonez, parent: “‘What is going on!’ I was screaming and yelling!”
This dad says it got so bad, his 14-year-old son was hiding in a bathroom stall during school and called him to pick him up.
Santiago Ortega, parent: “He said he didn’t even know who the kids were. They just ran up to him, and when they ran up to him they started hitting him.”
He called and emailed school administrators, even reached out to the superintendent. But he says nothing was done, so he transferred his son to a different school.
Brian Entin: “Do you think they need more security?”
Santiago Ortega: “I think they need more security, and I think they need to actually address the issue.”
The district refused to talk on camera but says there are three security specialists and one school resource officer allowed to break up fights at South Plantation.
Teachers are not supposed to get involved.
In one of the videos, you see what appears to be a security guard trying to break up a brawl.
Ashley Maristan, student: “I think they have, like, three security guards.”
Brian Entin: “And it’s not enough?”
Ashley Maristan: “No.”
The district called the students involved in this September fight “mutual combatants.”
They were disciplined, but there were no arrests and, thankfully, no reported injuries.
According to the most recent state numbers, fights broke out 31 times at South Plantation during the 2015-2016 school year.
But parents say it’s happening more than that now.
Santiago Ortega: “It is everyday at lunch, and everyday after school.”
Parents and students have different ideas about why there is so much fighting at this school. Students say it’s juniors and seniors ganging up on freshman and sophomores. Parents say that it’s a reflection of society in general. Whatever the reason, it’s to the point these kids are now getting lessons on how to defend themselves.
Bianca Garcia: “Just watch everyone around you. Watch your surroundings. Don’t keep two earplugs in, keep one out. Just pay attention. Have your phone in case.”
Brian Entin: “You have to think like that in school?”
Bianca Garcia: “Yeah, isn’t that sad.”
A sad reality for students in a place they should feel safe.
Brian Entin, 7News.
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