A free-for-all erupted in a hallway of one Florida high school as more than a dozen students engaged in kicking, punching and hair pulling, videos show.
“Several fights” were reported Tuesday, Sept. 12, inside Zephyrhills High School, causing it to be declared a “controlled campus,” according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Zephyrhills is about 30 miles northeast of Tampa.
The fights occurred during lunch, and WTVT reports 13 students have been charged with offenses ranging from battery to “disruption of a school function.”
Videos shared on Facebook and YouTube show male and female students were piled atop each other as they threw punches. Teachers and staff who tried to intervene were seen being pushed or thrown to the floor, including a woman identified as the school’s principal.
A cause for the fights has not been released.
“Two separate altercations involving 14 total students co-occurred in the cafeteria and a hallway during the transition of two student groups at lunchtime,” Pasco County Schools officials said.
“Our school security and dedicated staff members promptly intervened. However, the sheer number of students involved and the intensity of the situation made their intervention challenging, as students continued to engage in the altercation despite efforts to de-escalate.”
Principal Christina Stanley and the school administrators are considering disciplinary action for the students involved, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation, officials said.
The students involved in the fights were kept off campus Wednesday “for the safety and well-being of all students and staff,” officials said. Additional officers were also placed at the school, which has an enrollment of just over 1,600 students.
“Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated in Pasco County Schools,” Superintendent Kurt Browning said in a release. “Every student has the right to a safe and conducive learning environment, and we will take every necessary measure to ensure that this remains the case.”
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