June 24, 2018
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Bangor school officials probing student fight posted on Facebook

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — School officials are looking into a fight between two Bangor High School students Tuesday morning that was posted on Facebook, the school’s principal confirmed Wednesday.

Principal Paul Butler said in a phone interview that school officials are working with the students involved in the incident and with their parents.

According to Butler, the fight, which took place in a hallway, was stopped by two teachers. It lasted less than a minute.

“We had teachers on duty. The teachers responded very, very quickly,” he said. “Within 12 seconds the [first] teacher was there. The teacher responded verbally in a way that we’re trained to get students’ attention. The teacher determined that they needed some help. The teacher pointed and knew directly where to go get help from the second teacher.

“Within 30 seconds that teacher was there and in the presence of the students and the other teacher, and in 49 seconds, it was over,” he said, adding that he then was notified of the incident.

By Tuesday afternoon, a video of the fight had been posted on Facebook, he said.

Butler said there were few other specifics he could divulge as a matter of student confidentiality requirements.

“The issue is because the video is there and the students are potentially identifiable, I wouldn’t want to even characterize anything about the related circumstances,” he said. “It just isn’t fair, it isn’t right, and I’m not permitted to do it.”

The student who filmed and posted the video also could face consequences, Butler said.

“Any student who films or otherwise promotes or abets violence is subject to discipline,” he said.

“Bangor High School has great kids, and physical conflicts are not frequent,” he said. “When students are involved in physical conflicts, they are appropriately disciplined. If behavior is in any way assaultive, we work directly with those students and their parents, in all ways, in all manners of assistance. Then we do our best to help the students get past it.

“In Bangor, discipline is a form of love. There’s no student who’s not respected and loved,” he said.

According to Bangor High’s Code of Conduct, any student physically involved in a fight faces a suspension of up to 10 days. Parents are notified and if necessary, a conference is held to determine further actions.

The school’s parent and student handbook prohibits the use of cellphones, smartphones and other electronic devices from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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