OAK CREEK -- Parents in Oak Creek are sharing their concern over a Facebook page depicting fights inside Oak Creek High School. Now, the superintendent is publicly responding to their concerns.
Several videos have been posted on a Facebook page titled "Oak Creek Fights." Four of the clips show Oak Creek High School students brutally fighting one another on or off school property.
One video, recorded in a school bathroom, shows one student "body slamming" the other onto the tile floor.
"It is very disturbing to see that's what's going on in the community," said a parent.
"I think it's good to expose the truth of what's going on in the community so we can express our concerns," said Julie Richter.
Oak Creek School District Superintendent Tim Culver confirmed parents have made calls over the page. He said they've seen the Facebook page surface before. One of the videos posted there is more than 18 months old. Culver said officials have already made multiple efforts to take it down, but have been informed by Facebook that the page did not meet the criteria for removal.
Oak Creek High School
On a personal note, the superintendent said the following:
"It makes me sad that someone is representing our high school kids so poorly, because the vast majority are amazing, polite young people."
Superintendent Culver didn't deny fights happen. In fact, while FOX6 News was at the school covering this story, a fight broke out in the student parking lot across the street from the school, and our crew called police.
Superintendent Culver said he believes enough consequences are now in place to discourage fighting, and that the final tally of fights at the end of the 2016-2017 school year will reflect that.
Oak Creek police are also involved and efforts are still underway to remove the page which had accumulated about 150 "likes" as of Tuesday afternoon.
District officials said the students who were identified in the clips have been disciplined -- suspended or expelled.
Superintendent Culver released the following statement to FOX6 News in connection with this story:
Sadly, someone is using Facebook to promote criminal activity among school age children and Facebook has denied our multiple requests to have the page taken down. A number of teenagers made and posted videos reporting a handful of fights that occurred over the last 18 months, some occurring on school property. It is very disturbing to see children fight, and even more disturbing to have to deal with it as school discipline which results in students' interaction with law enforcement.
This came to our attention last week due to a thoughtful person calling us. Since then we have viewed the videos and documented that in every case occurring on school grounds where we could identify the students, the participants have already been suspended or expelled and additionally referred to police for legal consequences. Fighting in Oak Creek-Franklin schools is prohibited and will always result in, at a minimum, suspension or at maximum expulsion, and referral to our School Resource Officer.
The reality is that this school year, due to diligent enforcement and hand in hand, proactive work with our School Resource Officers the number of fights is trending fewer than last year. The reality is that 90-95% of our students always do what's right and earn great honors in many endeavors from the courts to the stage. However, for those few who don't do the right things, we take corrective action. This is what makes it exceptionally sad for me to think that people seeing the criminal, even felonious videos might gain a different perception.
I'd like you to do two things. First, if something is wrong, tell us right away. We have procedures for assuring that every concern is addressed (visit the Contact Us page of our website). If you make us aware of the facts of the matter, we will investigate it and resolve it; or you can ask for levels of review all the way up to the School Board.
Second, the best experience of all, call the High School and make an appointment and walk the halls for an hour or a half day or a day. I try to do this at least once a week. You will be amazed given that there are 2,100 teenagers, in a space way too small, how polite and well behaved the public spaces are.
We will continue to try to identify who is posting these wrongful images hurting and/or embarrassing many people who thought their ordeal or consequence was over in the past. We will continue to reach out to Facebook to see if they will stop the glorification of violence and crime by youth. We will continue to take action with our police partners to eliminate violence in any form at our schools. We thank you for your help and support in this effort.