A viral social media video showing a student altercation at Chiefland Middle High School and what the school calls “disinformation” is causing phones to “blow up” throughout the district, the Levy County assistant superintendent said Monday.
“We are disappointed by an incident which occurred two months ago at one of our campuses, which has recently received attention on social media platforms,” assistant superintendent John Lott said in a statement. “We have investigated it and followed through on our policies to address all of those involved.”
The clip appears to show one student get up and attack a seated student, who is next to a girl in a hijab. Then a third student steps in, grabs the first student who is still throwing unmatched punches, and drags the girl onto the ground, delivering repeated blows to the head area. Laughter and yells of “stop!” can be heard in the background.
It’s unclear where the short video originated, but it was posted to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube over the weekend. It was also shared by TikTok user tizzyent, who wrote “White student attacks Muslim students & gets handled,” to his 1.1 million followers.
In a second post the user, who said he got the video from Instagram, posted the name and phone number of the assistant principal he claimed was responsible for not intervening quickly enough. Other posts included contact information for various school officials.
The student who intervened in the initial altercation posted a video on Instagram stating that she was six tables away when the incident started and she, “Didn’t know what to say.” She said she wasn’t sure what started the fight but indicated she and the student who first threw punches both served 10-day suspensions.
The girl did not ask for money in the video, but other posts about the incident include a Cash App username allegedly belonging to her.
In a phone interview Lott said some school staff members are seeking legal protection for what they say are defamatory claims about who was present and did or didn’t take action. Lott said Levy School Board Superintendent Chris Cowart was at CMHS answering the phones on Monday.
“We take any form of violence, fighting, harassment, discrimination, bullying, any of those things very seriously and they won’t be tolerated on any campus,” Lott said.
The school district has legally required bullying policies in effect, Lott said.
“It is essential that schools be safe and orderly to provide environments that foster learning and high academic achievement,” Chapter 5 section 5.13 of the Levy County School Board policies on student conduct states. “The district shall strive to protect students, staff, visitors and volunteers from harm and to protect victims of crime from further victimization.
“Acts that pose a serious threat to school safety are those acts that endanger the life or safety of a student, staff member or other person(s) on campus or at a school or District sponsored activity.”
The first act on the list of serious threat acts is aggravated battery. Click here to read the policy.
Levy County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirmed on Monday that the school district is handling the incident, not the LCSO.