A video of security guards brutally manhandling a Pennsylvania student has caused an uproar after a clip surfaced online.
This past Monday, two female students at Hazleton Area High School broke into a fight in the school’s cafeteria, which quickly turned into a mob-like brawl. In the video that was caught by a student, security can be seen forcing themselves between the students in an attempt to separate them. While one of the security guards takes one of the students away from the chaos other security personnel and officers are seen attempting to subdue the other female student. At one point, one of the officers begins punching the young woman’s leg. When her knees buckle, the officer then grabs her ponytail and slams her onto the table in front of them.
Despite social media calling the video “brutal,” the school district’s head officer, Chief Ed Harry, says there’s more to the story and that officers are trained to perform that way. “They only saw a just very small portion of what went on, they didn’t see anything about what led up to it and the entire altercation in the cafeteria — I’m going to refer to it as a melee,” Chief Harry told Scranton news station WYOU. “At that point, the officers had to get that under control immediately. You can see from that snippet of video, there were hundreds of kids in the cafeteria…they were all cheering her on…yelling and screaming. They needed to deescalate that.”
Investigators say the two students’ fight started as an argument that quickly escalated. Superintendent, Brian Uplinger, is asking parents and students to gather all the facts before jumping to any conclusions about the video. “It’s important to know there are always two sides to every story and it’s really important for parents and students and community members to get both sides of those stories before going to social media,” said Uplinger.
According to Chief Harry, four students will be expelled from the school, with the possibility of facing criminal charges for their part in the brawl. The investigation is ongoing.