Filming fight leads to Figtree High School student suspensions

NOT ON: Figtree High School has suspended a number of students who were involved in a fight which was filmed and shared by students. The Mercury understands up to 30 students were suspended. Picture: Sylvia Liber
NOT ON: Figtree High School has suspended a number of students who were involved in a fight which was filmed and shared by students. The Mercury understands up to 30 students were suspended. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Another Illawarra high school has suspended students for their involvement in a fight which was filmed and shared by students.

The incident at Figtree High School happened a couple of weeks before a similar stance was taken at Keira High School, where the Mercury reported up to 20 students were suspended.

A NSW Department of Education spokesperson said only a small number of Figtree High School students were suspended for ‘’their direct involvement in the incident, filming the incident and distributing the footage of the incident’’.

But another source told the Mercury up to 32 students were suspended for either videoing, distributing or receiving visual content of the fight between two Year 8 girls, that broke out on the school grounds last month.

The parent said a great majority of the suspended students were sent the video via ‘air drop’, without the senders’ permission.

But I am quite peeved with the school for giving Stephanie a 10-day suspension while others who admitted to actually filming the fight getting only three or four-day suspensions.

Carmen Plaza

He added one girl was off sick on the day but the footage was sent to her and consequently she was also suspended for viewing it.

‘’It appears simply receiving the images was enough to see students suspended,’’ he said.

A Department spokesperson said students did not receive suspensions for simply viewing footage.

Carmen Plaza said she had no qualms with her 14-year-old daughter being suspended for viewing and sharing the fight film with friends.

‘’But I am quite peeved with the school for giving Stephanie a 10-day suspension while others who admitted to actually filming the fight getting only three or four-day suspensions,’’ Mrs Plaza said.

‘’Stephanie was in the wrong and deserves to be punished but she shouldn’t get more than the people who actually filmed it simply because she wouldn’t apologise to the school and admit to something she didn’t do.’’

Melanie Clark said it was right her 12-year-old daughter was punished for filming and sharing the fight.

But she felt the school handled the situation poorly by handing out ‘’blanket suspensions’’.

‘’My daughter was on the SRC and was due to receive an end of year merit award, which won’t happen now,’’ she said.

‘’She’s disappointed and she has been punished but I believe the school and the Department need to educate students on phone use.’’

The Department spokesperson said ‘’students at this school are well aware that mobile phones are not to be used at any time during school hours’’.

‘’Students are continually encouraged to espouse positive respectful relationships with their peers, and are advised of their responsibilities and appropriate use of technology through a range of programs and initiatives,’’ the spokesperson said.

‘’Figtree High School and the Department of Education do not tolerate any violence or inappropriate anti-social behaviour from students, which includes the filming and distribution of film, of a violent nature.

‘’The incident...was handled handled appropriately according to the school’s discipline policy and the Department’s Suspension Policy and Guidelines.’’