Either it’s just me or the quality of yard duty supervision is severely lacking. In the short time I have been working on this blog, I have encountered many cases of schoolyard bullying occurring amongst a crowd of student onlookers, yet without a teacher anywhere in sight. Either this has to do with an awareness issue among teachers or schools that have yet to properly address the supervision requirements for their school. There should be sufficient numbers of teachers on duty to deal with incidents as well as to patrol potential blindspots.
Here is but one example of a fight that occurred without being picked up by a teacher:
Marshall Brooks’s cheekbone was broken in two places and his eye socket shattered when one of his classmates gave him a vicious beating last week just outside their Westwood Senior High School yard.
But what was most horrifying to the seasoned police officers and school principal who viewed video footage of the attack in Hudson is that not one of the 50 or so students looking on tried to stop the beating or bothered to call 911.
Instead, they captured the action on their cellphones, eager to upload the drama to the Web. Only after the damage was done did someone step in.
“I saw the video and can’t believe no one intervened, or called police or even tried to help the young man,” said Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Sgt. Bruno Beaulieu.
“It was an unfair fight, like between David and Goliath, with the attacker at least twice the size of the victim.”
A 17-year-old student at the school, who can’t be named because he’s a minor, was charged with assault causing bodily harm and was released to his parents on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
He’s not allowed on school property for the rest of the academic year.
Brooks, 17, is recuperating at his Rigaud home after having reconstructive surgery at the Montreal General Hospital. Doctors feared he might lose the sight in his left eye, but, fortunately, it has returned – albeit a bit blurry.
“The kids didn’t seem to get that what they were watching was something dangerous,” said Brooks’s mother, Tina.
“Some were his friends and didn’t or couldn’t do anything and instead of calling 911, they were creating something cool and funky for Facebook.”
Brooks said he remembers being put in a headlock, pulled to the ground and punched repeatedly. But he said the fact that no one came to his rescue – and worse, recorded his suffering – doesn’t surprise him.
“It’s high school tradition to record everything and every fight,” he said.
“And compared to what you can find on TV or the Internet, a fight is nothing.”
The video of the beating has since been taken down from YouTube.