An off-campus fight between two Dougherty Valley High School students is garnering added attention from school officials, in part because multiple students used their cellphones to video-record the incident rather than to call authorities.
"We are looking at this from a broader perspective, and are not only concerned about the girls involved in the actual altercation, but the students who videotaped and stood by and watched as well," Terry Koehne, spokesman for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, said Monday.
The fight, involving two girls with a recent history of conflict, took place at a park near the San Ramon high school after classes let out Thursday afternoon.
School representatives didn't learn of the altercation until either the tail-end or right after it finished, according to Koehne. Officials immediately contacted city police, but the altercation ended and students disbanded by the time officers arrived.
In the ensuing hours and days, multiple videos surfaced online and elsewhere depicting the fight, Koehne said. School district officials and police continue to investigate the incident, he added.
DVHS staff members were aware of rising tensions between the two girls for several weeks, and they felt some progress was made in helping the pair address their outstanding issues, until things turned physical Thursday, Koehne said.
However, the mother of one girl reportedly involved in the fight disagreed, telling KPIX, the local CBS affiliate, that her daughter was the victim of school bullying. The woman did not respond to the Danville Express's request for comment, as of late Monday afternoon.
SRVUSD officials treated the past tensions as a conflict -- on a more level playing field -- as opposed to bullying, and they are currently looking at the fight in the same light at this point in the investigation, according to Koehne.
"That's the way it's been presented and portrayed to us, as a conflict between girls, not necessarily a one-sided bullying issue," he said.
"The school district takes bullying very seriously," Koehne added. "We have very aggressive policies against bullying. It is our feeling that if kids don't feel safe, it's hard for them to learn."