by Lauren Seabrook
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
9:02 PM CST, February 1, 2013
Jansen Lockhart, a sophomore at Heights High School, took blow after blow to the face from a classmate in the middle of the school day Monday, before a teacher finally intervened. But even more disturbing, someone else knew it was coming and waited with a camera to record the fight.
"I was really surprised, I was really angry. It was staged, and when I found out it was, it was even more shocking because nobody was there to have my back. Nobody was there who knew about it to have my back or warn me about it," said Jansen.
It makes Jansen's mother Toceah Lockhart sick to see what her little girl went through. "We've told her we need to take this situation that is completely negative and horrific and just turn it around," Toceah said. "I want to make a law saying that people who are video taping are just as guilty," Jansen said.
USD 259 Executive Director of Security Debbie McKenna says it's a trend happening everywhere and the premeditation is alarming. "This was one, as well as others, where they have actually spent some time discussing here's what we'll do, where we'll do it, when we'll do it and I'll record it and we can download it to YouTube," said McKenna.
The fight hit YouTube Monday night and has since had hundreds of views. Views of a devastating moment for Jansen. "I'm just angry. This is not me. I going around school trying to be okay with everything and everyone expects me to be okay and I'm not," she said.
McKenna worries about the trend of recording fights at school. "It certainly is the entertainment value that desensitizes people to the whole issue of violence. And that is very harmful."
Jansen suffered a consussion and brusising, but the emotional damage is setting in. She says what she needs now is for the high school gossip to end. "I don't mind people coming up to me and saying oh are you okay. But when people talk, I mean I walk into the classroom and someone behind me saying oh she got her butt beat and trying to whisper under their breath, it's not okay," she says.
Marriage and Family Therapist Micheal McKenzie treats teens dealing with emotional damage from bullying. "Teaching your children empathy early on is really, really important. I see a lot of kids in my office and empathy is just not something they value," McKenzie said. "There were people giggling and laughing and those kinds of responses are alarming," McKenna said.
The school suspended the student throwing the punches and the student who recorded the video is in trouble too. The district will have a hearing this week to decide if the student who started the fight will be kicked out of school for the year.
District leaders urge parents to use this as a lesson for their own child's cell phone use. "There needs to be a very serious discussion and boundaries set in terms of what's acceptable use and what isn't. When those boundaries are crossed there needs to be consequences," she said.
USD 259 allows students to have phones at school but requires them to be turned off, except at lunchtime. Administrators admit it is hard to monitor.
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