A vicious fight at a Florida high school that was captured by a cellphone shows a helpless teacher caught in the violence after trying for several minutes trying to keep the students from going at each other.
The over-four minutes video, shot at Gibbs High School in Pinellas County on Tuesday, was shot by a male student who egged on two female students to fight, all while the teacher spends most of it playing peacemaker.
Eventually, the shouting match erupts into a physical fight, with the teacher thrown in the melee. The video was posted on line, and now parents are outraged over how no other school employee was there to aid the teacher.
The video, which appears to have been shot in a classroom, shows the two students yelling verbal taunts at each other while the other students encourage it. The teacher, meanwhile, constantly steps in between the girls in an attempt to calm them down.
But as the yelling escalates, so does the egging on by the other students. Eventually, the girls come to blows with one another, and the helpless teacher is caught between them.
Since the video was posted online, parents have voiced their concern over not just the fight, but the school's lack of giving the teacher backup and support during the escalation.
The school insists that the teacher received help quickly, although as you can see from the video, it took more than five minutes for any kind of help to arrive.
According to a Pinellas County spokesperson, the teacher eventually received aid from a campus monitor, a couple of administrators and another teacher.
Meanwhile, parents received a voice mail from Gibbs High principal, Stephanie Adkinson, which said:
"I am calling to let you know that there was an altercation that occurred at our school recently involving a few students. A video of the incident was posted on social media. Please know that we take safety very seriously here at Gibbs High School and do not tolerate this kind of behavior. The choices of a few students do not represent the excellent student body we have here at Gibbs High School. This was an isolated event. Thank you very much for your support of Gibbs High School."
A Pinellas County school board member called the incident "very disheartening."
And it's clear why. A teacher spending over four minutes trying to keep a fight from breaking out, and then getting caught in the middle of it is not what parents envision for their kids when they're sent off to school every morning.
Before the fight even breaks out, the video shows several students in the classroom cursing and egging on the two girls as the teacher tries to keep things calm.
The students involved in the fight are being punished, the school says.
The district is calling the fight an "isolated incident." But, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Gibbs High handed out 76 out-of-school suspensions for fighting last year, the most in the county.
At the end of the video, a student is shown laughing and saying, "Only at Gibbs, man. Only at Gibbs."
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