LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – KPLC 7 News has learned students at LaGrange High School are capturing school fights on cell phones and uploading the videos to YouTube, where they have been viewed thousands of times.
The surprising thing is school officials did not know about the videos until KPLC informed them.
The YouTube channel where the fights are posted is known as LaGrange Fights.
Five videos are currently posted of different fights that occurred at LaGrange High School. The first video was posted eight months ago. The most recent video was posted on Saturday.
In one of the videos, a male teacher tries breaking up a fight between two students in a classroom. Moments later, the teacher is pushed by one of the students and the students begin punching each other. In another video, two students fight in a locker room, as other students in the background hold up their cell phones and record the fight. Two other fights appear to occur outside the high school, including a fight between two female students.
Moments after KPLC aired our story, the videos on LaGrange Fights' channel were put on "private." However, another YouTube user known as ajb42744 also has fights that occurred at LaGrange High posted to their channel. That user has also posted fights that took place at a Lake Charles apartment complex, commonly referred to as "J. Hall or Johnson Hall."
Prior to airing the story, KPLC talked with one student who openly admits to posting some of the fights on YouTube.
The students says he's part of an eight person network of LaGrange High students who capture school fights on their cell phones and turn around and post those fights on YouTube.
"It's funny. I ain't a fight-starter, but if I see one, I just pull my phone out and record it and put it on YouTube," the student said.
The student also tells KPLC some of the fights are planned days before they take place.
"They're organized. [The one coming up] everybody already knows about it," the student said.
According to the student, every student at LaGrange knows about the videos posted on YouTube.
"If they don't see you recording it you can't really get in trouble," the student said.
Another student, who claims to have no involvement with posting the videos, says he does not see how school officials can enforce the current cell phone use policy and prevent students from posting school fights on YouTube.
"They'll find another place to post it if they don't post it on YouTube," the student said.
The Calcasieu School Board did not agree to an on-camera interview, but did release this statement, saying, "The altercations shown in the YouTube videos currently posted have all been addressed by school administrators with the school system's Zero Tolerance Policy…applied to those students involved. Those that occurred last year were addressed and the one that occurred this year has been addressed."
As far as YouTube is concerned, YouTube says it prohibits videos showing someone being physically hurt, attacked or humiliated. Because millions of videos are uploaded each day, the site depends on its users to flag inappropriate videos. Once a video is flagged, YouTube reviews the video and removes it if it violates community guidelines.
The Calcasieu School Board says it is currently conducting research to determine the students behind posting the fights, so disciplinary action can be taken for violating the district's cell phone use policy.
You can read both the cell phone use policy and the Zero Tolerance Policy regarding fighting here.