Principal enforces technology misuse discipline after violent video spreads


COAL CITY, WV (WVNS) — A video on social media shows a violent incident at Independence High School, and one concerned parent had enough.

“When kids started videoing these fights in school, it became my worst fear that one day I was going to open up Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat and the kid being beaten would be my child,” said the parent, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his child.

His worst fear came true. It happened at Independence High School. Principal, Shawn Hawkins, said administrators took action right away.

“We immediately pulled in the students involved in the altercation. At that time it became common knowledge to us that it had been videoed,” Hawkins explained.

The incident occurred between classes in the gym on Monday, September 23, 2019. Students recorded as one student slammed another to the ground.

Videos of violence among students frequently end up on social media, a trend Hawkins said she is trying to combat with technology misuse discipline.

“Our biggest issue is really teaching kids what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate,” Hawkins said. “It is wonderful sometimes if you can have documentation and evidence, but at the same time, to video something and pass it along to spread or to cause one of the parties further harm is not tolerated.”

Hawkins said administrators disciplined every student involved, and worked to get the video deleted and removed from social media. However, this parent said he believes more needs to be done.

“Its ridiculous,” said the parent. “It is to the point where my son doesn’t want to go back to school.”

Hawkins encouraged parents to take an active role in preventing the spread of these harmful videos online.

“We try our best to monitor it here at the school, but we do have to have everybody’s help in monitoring this if people become aware of it,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins said she is trying to sit down with every student who shared the video to teach them about the harm it causes.

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