GREEN BAY - Fights have been caught with video cameras, and then allegedlyposted to the Internet by children in Green Bay. Now, the Green BayPolice Department has launched an investigation at an area MiddleSchool. 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 Officershave greeted students as they enter and leave Franklin MiddleSchool on the city's West Side.
"We're making sure we have extra presence out there. So nomatter where they end up walking, there will be some police veryclose by if something does take place," said Lieutenant Todd Leiderwith 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 ofanyone else," said Leider.
FOX 11 has blurred the faces of the minors in the video weshow.
However, it is obvious many students are watching, cheering, andsome are videotaping it with handheld devices like cell phones.
FOX 11 was first alerted to the alleged Franklin fights onlineby a concerned parent. The parent did not want to talk on camera orbe identified out of concern for the child's safety. However, thatparent says students are supposedly organizing the fights duringclass time, scheduling them for locations near school, then tellingother students to come watch and videotape it.
The fight we found online with that parent's help, appears totake 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 thisevent," said Matt Weller, Franklin Middle School Principal.
However, Weller said this is not the first time the school hasdealt with problems stemming from the Internet. He said sites like ratemyteacher.com, myspace.com,and facebook.comhave raised red flags at the school.
He said students have also been known to organize fights throughemails, text messages, and cell phone conversations. Weller saidparents 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 3:30and 5 p.m. each day, there is a lot of temptation out there. (Thereare a) lot of places they can be that are not in their bestinterest," said Weller.
Lieutenant Leider said school resource officers have interviewedFranklin students about the YouTube fights.
"We aren't sure if they are fights that are being videotaped ofif they are purposely set up for entertainment value so they canput them on YouTube," said Leider.
Police said any students identified fighting online could bearrested for a range of charges, including disorderly conduct,trespassing and battery.
Many online videos appearing to show students from FranklinMiddle School fighting, have now been deleted from YouTube'ssite.
The school district tells us at least one video, seen in ourstory, was deleted after they alerted YouTube officials about theinappropriate content.
YouTube tells us 15 hours of video is uploaded to the site everyminute.
Scott Rubin, a spokesperson for YouTube.comsaid, "We count on our community members to know our CommunityGuidelines and to flag content they believe violates them. Wereview flagged content quickly, and if we find that a video doesviolate the Guidelines, we remove it, on average in under an hour.We take the safety of our community very seriously. "
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