News

SRVUSD investigates student fight caught on video

Multiple students record off-campus confrontation between girls

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."

Comments

Posted by Bill, a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2013 at 7:03 am

A sad commentary on the lack of ethics and morals that shows itself in certain sections and groups of today's youth. It is not all of the kids just a misguided minority that lack parental guidance and structure in their lives.


Posted by Danvillemom, a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2013 at 8:33 am

There was a link to the video in the San Ramon patch
You can even hear the laughing and commenting of the spectators. It's very low class behavior all around, and it does not belong in our community.


Posted by DVHSProudParent, a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 19, 2013 at 9:50 am

I have not viewed the video, so I cannot comment, nor do I condone bullying or standing by and watching any type of abuse. What I will comment on is the ethics displayed at DVHS and the support from the Administration on bullying and "girl conflict/drama." I have first hand knowledge of how the Windemere Schools have handled these situations with a "No Tolerance" attitude from the Administrations. They Have been very proactive and supportive, with effective resolutions. Additionally I take offense to using the reference of "low class behavior," directed at DVHS, which happens to be a stellar High School, which is attributed to the families in the community, Administration, Teachers and the Student Body.


Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Nov 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm

It will be interesting to see if this plays out more as a fight between more-or-less "equals", or as more of a one-sided bullying. On KTVU Ch. 2 news, the mother of one of the girls was certainly portraying it as a one-sided bullying, and there was no comment (or air-time) from the parent(s) of the other girl. And from the video, it DID look like one girl was more of the instigator than the other. That said, it is admittedly hard to tell.

I can to some extent understand the other student witnesses (and video'ers) not calling 911, or even getting a teacher, if they thought that it would be "getting the girl, or girls, in more trouble". But if they're not going to intervene in that manner, then it is even more inexcusable for not trying to break up the fight itself. The fight itself was a pretty drawn out and serious fight, and as I said before, it certainly looked like one person was the physical aggressor, and the other person was mostly in a defensive mode. But who knows what led up to it.....

I DO think that it is important to really sort out the whole sequence of events that led up to the actual fight, as opposed to taking the simplistic approach of "zero tolerance for fighting of any kind - you're both suspended". Because you should be able to defend yourself.


Posted by Yikes, a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

RE comment from DVHSProudParent:

"...Additionally I take offense to using the reference of "low class behavior," directed at DVHS, which happens to be a stellar High School, which is attributed to the families in the community, Administration, Teachers and the Student Body...."

It IS "low class behavior!"

To the parents of the instigator: You need to step up. Be a parent. Your kid is out of control.


Posted by Abc, a resident of Danville
on Nov 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I'm curious what the schools actually DO when they find bullying. I hear them say "zero tolerance" and want to know that actions they take. Thx


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