New Zealand school children put fight videos on YouTube

Friday, October 27, 2006

Approximately seven videos showing school children beating their peers have been put on the Google-owned video service, YouTube.

The videos are recorded using cellphone cameras from students at Auckland Grammar School, Tauranga Boys' College and Saint Kentigern College and other unidentified schools, according to New Zealand newspaper, The Press.

Auckland Grammar has three videos of bullying and Tauranga Boys College and St Kentigern College both have one video each.

According to The Press one video filmed in Auckland Grammar shows two students, surrounded by a large circle of boys, knock another boy unconscious. The boy appears to have convulsions. The clip was put on YouTube by I0pex a month ago and was titled "Some guy getting KNocked the fuck out." It had a rating of four and a half stars out of a possible five.

The video was not accessible on YouTube by 27 October, 2006 at 7.36 a.m. UTC, a notice displayed said, "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation." The Press said an unidentified clip shows two girls fighting, which was also removed for the same reason.

YouTube guidelines state: "Real violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone getting hurt, attacked or humiliated, don't post it."

According to NewsRoom the video showing the bullying from Tauranga Boys' College shows three students, one student holding another while being punched on the ground in the face. When a teacher breaks up the fight, the comments for the video criticise the teacher for doing so.

One other video shows one Asian student bullying another Asian, according to The Press.

Annabel Taylor, Family Help Trust chairwoman, said: "The clips represented the worst aspects of bullying. It is premeditated, organised, intentional, choreographed even, and that's what distinguishes it from common schoolyard bullying."

Tauranga Boys' College deputy principal, Robert Naumann, said: "While appropriate disciplinary action was taken against the boys involved in the incident, and none of those filmed had given their permission for the footage to be posted on the web, the film has remained within the public domain despite attempts by college staff to have it removed," he said, "Youtube has continued to support its placement". The video was not accessible on 27 October, 2006 at 7.36 a.m. UTC. Graham Young, principal of Tauranga Boys' College, said: "A video posted on the Internet showing two of his students fighting is inappropriate and bizarre, but not unusual. Unfortunately technology allows teenagers to put all sorts of material about each other on websites."

Martin Crocker, Netsafe director, said that while posting the videos did not break any law, the actions filmed in the videos did. "The terrible thing is that the aim of online notoriety is driving people to do quite extreme things," Crocker said.

Dave Turnbull, principal of Cashmere High School, said that he is unaware of anything like that has happened in Christchurch. "The reality is it could have been any school."

According to Paul Shamy from Stopping Violence Services Christchurch, "[I am] not surprised that the violence was in well-to-do schools such as Auckland Grammar as violence is spread throughout society."


This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.