Viral fight video triggers extra security at Chiefland school

Classroom photo
Classroom photo
BlurryMe via Shutterstock

Two months after a video of altercations at a Chiefland school surfaced and was shared and viewed by millions, the Levy County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) has upped the number of deputies stationed at Chiefland Middle High School (CMHS) in answer to issued non-specific threats being circulated via hundreds of emails and phone calls.

According to LCSO spokesperson Scott Tummond, as of Monday, extra deputies have been stationed at CMHS to make sure students and parents feel safe.

In January, a series of altercations happened at CMHS and the LCSO reported that the incidents were handled by the school.

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"The fight recorded happened on Jan. 8 and it's taken this long for the post to gain traction," Tummond said Friday. He reported that none of the threats were carried out or have affected activities at the school. The LCSO released a statement Thursday dispelling rumors that officials had canceled school. 

Many online commenters are criticizing a lack of action from a nearby school administrator in the video, but Tummond said the public is not aware of the context and the details of school board policy, especially when it comes to staff getting involved in fights.

"The school has a policy about staff jumping into fights," Tummond said. "The school policy states that the staff can't jump in, in order to protect the teacher's safety and civil liability.

Tummond defended the policy as sound reasoning. 

"The last thing you want is the teacher jumping into the middle of a fight and getting hurt," Tummond said. "Or the teacher inadvertently hurting a student."

He said accusations of insufficient action are unfounded. 

"The truth of the matter is that school administration took immediate action," Tummond said. "The first aggressor was suspended and immediately withdrew from school, the second aggressor was reprimanded not as severely as the primary aggressor and the issue was done and over with. And not a single parent of any of the three children involved asked the LCSO to investigate."

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