Lorain middle school staff under investigation after encouraging student fight

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT

LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Student allegations at Southview Middle School claiming that teachers encouraged two students to fight during the school day on May 9 have led to an investigation by district authorities.

Footage from both student cell phones and district cameras are being investigated and reviewed by the district safety and security team, according to a news release, as well as human resources for follow-up with the students and staff members involved.

Several videos were released which appear to show staff members encouraging the fight, according to Lorain schools, and then appears they mocked the students afterward in full view of other students.

“Lorain City Schools is entrusted to provide safe, caring environments for our students, staff, and all who enter our schools,” shared Dr. Jeff Graham, Superintendent. “Although we’re still engaged in due process, I really struggle with what I’ve seen in these videos, and I want to make it clear that anyone who violates our promise to take care of the children of Lorain is unwelcome here in our district.”

On one video you clearly see a male teacher or staff member appear to signal the start of the fight as two male students are in a fighting stance and then begin to throw punches.

Sondra Philo who lives near the school with her husband Shawn couldn’t believe her eyes, “That should not be going on. He shouldn’t be in charge of children that’s for sure. I hope he gets fired, he shouldn’t be working with kids period.”

Lorain City Schools said they have a zero-tolerance policy for violence within their schools.

They said that any discipline that comes as a result of this incident will be consistent with board policy and past practice.

The teachers/staff members have not been identified.

19 News made several attempts, but was unable to reach anyone with the Lorain Education Association for comment.

The investigation is on-going.

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