An internet video depicting two Great Bend High School students fighting in the lunch room has been featured on several websites over the weekend, prompting readers to contact the Great Bend Tribune with questions concerning the safety of students at the school.
The YouTube video titled, “High school fight is the modern day David vs. Goliath,” includes footage of a high school student who first punches his opponent, a taller boy, in the face and then tackles him to the ground. He then jumps up off the boy, who remains on the ground, holding his head in his hands. More than one video was taken, showing the altercation from different angles.
According to Great Bend Police Captain Bob Robinson, the incident happened around the noon hour, and police were called to the school at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. USD 428 Resource Officer Jefferson Davis took an aggravated battery case filed by the victim’s parents at that time. Officials believe the case will be forwarded to the County Attorney’s office sometime Tuesday. Charges have not yet been filed.
According to Jennifer Schartz, public information officer for USD 428, it is a standing policy not to comment on incidents that involve students.
The district’s policy states if a student commits either a misdemeanor or felony at school which results in or was substantially likely to have resulted in serious bodily injury to another, the superintendent shall report such act to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
In addition, if there is a disturbance at school, law enforcement officers may be requested to assist in controlling disturbances at school, and if necessary, to take students into custody.
The consequence for fighting is suspension, and the school reserves the right to press charges on students involved in fights. Students suspended off campus may not be on campus or participate in any school activity for the duration of their suspension.
USD 428 Superintendent Brad Reed responded to the Great Bend Tribune by email, stating that the district cannot comment on any questions, from any party, that are in reference to private, confidential information about individual students.
“I can say, that in general terms, any time that a student in USD 428 has a health concern that school personnel become aware of, those issues are addressed quickly and appropriately,” he stated. “Students health and well being are our first priority.”
He also stated that in general terms, students are adequately and appropriately supervised.
“There are few places that students could be, on a daily basis, where they would be any safer than they are when they are at school,” he added.