Fights have been caught with video cameras, and then allegedly …
Updated: Thursday, 19 Feb 2009, 2:13 PM CST
Published : Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009, 6:27 PM CST
GREEN BAY - Fights have been caught with video cameras, and then allegedly posted to the Internet by children in Green Bay. Now, the Green Bay Police Department has launched an investigation at an area Middle School. We want to warn you, our story contains video of the fight, and some people may consider it disturbing.
For the past few days, squad cars and Green Bay Police Officers have greeted students as they enter and leave Franklin Middle School on the city's West Side.
"We're making sure we have extra presence out there. So no matter where they end up walking, there will be some police very close by if something does take place," said Lieutenant Todd Leider with the Green Bay Police Department.
The police department wants to prevent fights from happening, and from being posted on YouTube.com.
"All we are aware of the one at Franklin. We're not aware of anyone else," said Leider.
FOX 11 has blurred the faces of the minors in the video we show.
However, it is obvious many students are watching, cheering, and some are videotaping it with handheld devices like cell phones.
FOX 11 was first alerted to the alleged Franklin fights online by a concerned parent. The parent did not want to talk on camera or be identified out of concern for the child's safety. However, that parent says students are supposedly organizing the fights during class time, scheduling them for locations near school, then telling other students to come watch and videotape it.
The fight we found online with that parent's help, appears to take place in a neighborhood near Franklin Middle School.
"Some are on school grounds, some are not on school grounds," said Leider.
"It certainly is a concern that kids would turn out for this event," said Matt Weller, Franklin Middle School Principal.
However, Weller said this is not the first time the school has dealt with problems stemming from the Internet. He said sites like ratemyteacher.com, myspace.com, and facebook.com have raised red flags at the school.
He said students have also been known to organize fights through emails, text messages, and cell phone conversations. Weller said parents need to pay attention to help stop any kind of fight, especially the ones showing up on the internet.
"If you don't know where your son or daughter is between 3:30 and 5 p.m. each day, there is a lot of temptation out there. (There are a) lot of places they can be that are not in their best interest," said Weller.
Lieutenant Leider said school resource officers have interviewed Franklin students about the YouTube fights.
"We aren't sure if they are fights that are being videotaped of if they are purposely set up for entertainment value so they can put them on YouTube," said Leider.
Police said any students identified fighting online could be arrested for a range of charges, including disorderly conduct, trespassing and battery.
Many online videos appearing to show students from Franklin Middle School fighting, have now been deleted from YouTube's site.
The school district tells us at least one video, seen in our story, was deleted after they alerted YouTube officials about the inappropriate content.
YouTube tells us 15 hours of video is uploaded to the site every minute.
Scott Rubin, a spokesperson for YouTube.com said, "We count on our community members to know our Community Guidelines and to flag content they believe violates them. We review flagged content quickly, and if we find that a video does violate the Guidelines, we remove it, on average in under an hour. We take the safety of our community very seriously. "