Girl started it, boy overreacted, officials conclude
Two West Jones freshmen — a boy and a girl — have been suspended for getting in a fist-fight on a school bus on Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent Tommy Parker of the Jones County School District said.
A cellphone video of part of the fight was circulated on social media, showing the boy punching the girl while they were standing up and then more punches when he got on top of her, as she kicked him.
“It looked terrible,” Parker said of the video that was posted on Facebook but was later disabled.
But video that was taken on the bus showed that the girl may have had a hand in starting the fight, said school officials who reviewed the tape and reported to Parker.
“The video from the bus showed a lot more of what caused the altercation,” Parker said.
There were some reports that the girl was picking on a smaller child and the boy was defending her. Parker didn’t get into the particulars of the investigation.
Mike Moore, who is the West Jones principal for the ninth and 10th grade, and other WJ administrators and WJ School Resource Officer Phil Maskew reviewed the video, Parker said.
The conclusion that school officials reached was that the girl initiated the fight, but the boy’s reaction went way beyond self-defense.
Each student is suspended for five days and they will be banned from riding the bus for the rest of the school year, which ends May 23. That will be the extent of the school’s disciplinary measures, Parker said. The parents can still use the video to file criminal charges, he said, and more punishment could be coming from youth court.
“We don’t control if either parent files charges,” Parker said, “and what youth court does is out of our hands.”