TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) – School fights aren’t a new problem, but many local parents are wondering if social media is making them worse.
This week alone, 10 students were arrested at Earl J. Lennard High School for violent fights that broke out on campus.
Videos of the school fights, taken by other students, have been circulating online. Now, parents are sharing the content out of anger and concern.
“It makes me very angry, and I feel so sad for these kids,” said Claudia Ferrer, who recently decided to homeschool her 7th grade daughter after she was suspended for her involvement in a school fight last month.
Ferrer said she found video of her daughter’s fight on another student’s social media page.
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The video shows her daughter being punched multiple times by another girl, and then slammed into a bathroom stall. Students circled the two girls while recording the fight on their phones.
“I am very concerned, it seems like they’re fighting for social media, for likes,” said Ferrer.
Social media experts say gaining virtual popularity may very well be influencing the violence at schools.
“They also are thinking about this could go online, this could go viral, I could get a lot of attention from this video, I could get a lot of followers for it,” said Kelli Burns, an associate professor of advertising and mass communications at the University of South Florida.
According to Burns, in some cases, students have been known to stage the fights and upload them to sites specifically dedicated to school fights.
Parents, like Ferrer, believe the use of cell phones in schools should be heavily restricted.
But in her case, she decided to homeschool her two middle school-aged daughters.